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Thomas MallonPeters understands that Willkie's nomination took place at a historical moment when ''the good side of the American character was in ascendancy.'' Philip Roth's unwillingness to grasp that truth is what made The Plot Against America, however fluent a tour de force, an imaginative failure. Five Days in Philadelphia, small and kindhearted and occasionally awkward, is the bigger book of the two.
— The New York Times