Flynn, John Thomas

(1882-1964)
   John Flynn was born in Maryland. After studying law at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., he became a journalist, first with the New Haven Register, and after moving to New York City in 1920, with the New York Globe. From 1923 onward, Flynn was a freelance journalist and became a well-know political commentator through his articles in the New Republic, Harper’s Magazine, and Collier’s Weekly. Many of his articles were critical of bankers and industrialists, and Flynn was initially a strong supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. However, in 1934 he became an adviser to the Nye Committee, and his work on the links between the munitions industry and American involvement in World War I made him an outspoken isolationist. He was critical of the president’s attempts to involve the United States in European affairs and was one of the founders of the America First Committee. With American entry into World War II in 1942, Flynn became increasingly unpopular, a trend that continued with his critical study of Roosevelt, As We Go Marching (1944). After the war, he supported claims that the New Deal had been soft on communism, and his book, The Roosevelt Myth (1948), suggested that communists had been included in the Roosevelt administration. He developed this position further in supporting Joseph McCarthy and in his publications, The Road Ahead: America’s Creeping Revolution (1949), While You Slept (1951), and The Lattimore Story (1953). Other targets for Flynn’s attacks included the United Nations and even President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eventually he alienated even fellow conservatives, and he retired from public life in 1960.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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