John T. Flynn

John Thomas Flynn (25 October 1882, Bladensburg, Maryland1964) was a U.S. journalist.


Although he graduated from Georgetown Law School, he choose a career in journalism, beginning at the "New Haven Register" but eventually moved to New York where he was financial editor of the "New York Globe". During the 1920s and 1930s, he wrote articles for such leading publications as "The New Republic", "Harper's Magazine", and "Collier's Weekly". He became one of the best-known political commentators in the United States.

Like Oswald Garrison Villard, another key figure in the Old Right, Flynn was a leftist with populist inclinations during this period. He supported Franklin D. Roosevelt for president but criticized the New Deal.


But Flynn was also a consistent anti-militarist. He was a key advisor to the Nye Committee in 1934 which investigated the role of the so called “merchants of death” (munitions manufacturers and bankers) in leading to U.S. entry into World War I.

By 1936, he had broken with Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was already drawing comparisons between the statist and centralist features of the New Deal to Mussolini’s policies: “We seem to be not a long way off from the kind of Fascism which Mussolini preached in Italy before he assumed power; and we are steadily approaching the conditions which made Fascism possible.”

Flynn was one of the founders of the America First Committee which opposed Roosevelt’s foreign policy. Flynn became head of the New York City chapter which claimed a membership of 135,000. The Committee charged that Roosevelt was using lies and deception to ensnare the United States into another war. It mounted campaigns against Lend Lease, the Selective Service, and other initiatives by Roosevelt.

Although Flynn distanced the Committee from the claims of extremist and anti-Semitic groups, such as the National Union for Social Justice, his old pro-war leftist allies cut him off and "The New Republic" pulled his regular column, "Other People’s Money."


The America First Committee disbanded in 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and Flynn turned increasingly against New Deal liberalism which he regarded as a “degenerate form of socialism and debased form of capitalism.” In 1944, he wrote a classic and prophetic critique of the American drift toward statism: "As We Go Marching" in which he warned of an unholy alliance influencing US foreign policy, writing:

:"The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course of larceny, murder, rapine and barbarism. We are always moving forward with high mission, a destiny imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims, while incidentally capturing their markets; to civilise savage and senile and paranoid peoples, while blundering accidentally into their oil wells." [ [ Flynn, John T. (1944) "As We Go Marching." p.240] ]

Four years later, he followed this with "The Roosevelt Myth".

By the middle of the 1940s, he was describing himself as a liberal in the classical liberal tradition of small government and free markets.

Cold War

During the Cold War period, Flynn continued his opposition to interventionist foreign policies and militarism. He was an early and prophetic critic of American involvement in the Indo-Chinese War on the side of the French. He charged that sending U.S. troops would “only be proving the case of the Communists against America that we are defending French imperialism.”

Flynn became an early and avid supporter of Senator Joseph McCarthy in great part because McCarthy shared his dislike for the Washington/New York political axis.

In 1955, he had a formal falling out with the new generation of Cold War conservatives when William F. Buckley, Jr., rejected one of his articles for the new "National Review". It had attacked militarism as a “job-making boondoggle.” Flynn retired from public life in 1960 and died in 1964.

Books by John T. Flynn

*"Country Squire in the White House] " [] (1940)
*"Men of Wealth; the Story of Twelve Significant Fortunes from the Renaissance to the Present Day] " [] (1941)
*"The Truth About Pearl Harbour and the Final Secret of Pearl Harbour] " (1944)
*"Meet Your Congress" (1944)
*"As We Go Marching" [] (1944)
*"The Epic of Freedom" (1947)
*"The Roosevelt Myth" [] (1948/rev 1956)
*"The Road Ahead; America's Creeping Revolution" [] (1949)
*"Communists and the New Deal: Part II" (1952)
*"While You Slept: Our tragedy in Asia and who made it" (1953)
*"America's Unknown War: The War We Have Not Begun to Fight" (1953)
*"McCarthy: His War on American Reds, and the Story Of Those Who Oppose Him" (1954)
*"Betrayal at Yalta" (1955)
*"The Decline of the American Republic and How to Rebuild It" [] (1955)
*"Militarism: The New Slavery for America" (1955)
*"Fifty Million Americans in Search of a Party" (1955)
*"God's Gold; the Story of Rockefeller and his Times" [] (1960)
*"The Lattimore Story" (1962)
*"Investment Trusts Gone Wrong! (Wall Street and the Security Markets)"
*"The Thought Police; an Episode in Radical Bigotry"


* Ronald Radosh. "Prophets on the right: Profiles of conservative critics of American globalism" (1978)
*David T. Beito, [ "Happy Birthday, John T. Flynn,"] History News Network, October 25, 2005.
* Ronald Radosh. "Prophets on the right: Profiles of conservative critics of American globalism" (1978)
* [ "The Roosevelt Myth"] John T. Flynn's on-line book
* [ "As We Go Marching"] John T. Flynn's on-line book
* [ Tribute to John T. Flynn] by Adam Young
* [ The Ideological Odyssey of John T. Flynn] by John E. Moser

ee also

*Critics of the New Deal

External links

* [ Guide to the John T. Flynn papers at the University of Oregon]

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