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American journalist, author of The Roosevelt Myth
John T. Flynn

John Thomas Flynn (25 October 1882 – 13 April 1964) was an American journalist best known for his opposition to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and to American entry into World War II. In September 1940, Flynn helped establish the America First Committee (AFC). He was also the first to advance the Pearl Harbor advance-knowledge conspiracy theory.

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25 Oct 1882, John Thomas Flynn, in Bladensburg, Maryland


13 Apr 1964, in Amityville, New York


Laissez Faire Books
His books include Forgotten Lessons, Country Squire in the White House (1940), As We Go Marching (1944), The Epic of Freedom (1947), The Road Ahead (1949), While You Slept (1951), The Lattimore Story (1953) and The Decline of the American Republic (1955). Flynn's masterwork The Roosevelt Myth (1948) has gone through several editions, and the Fox & Wilkes 50th anniversary edition has a thoughtful introduction by historian Ralph Raico.

Web Pages

Advocates for Self-Government - Libertarian Education: John Flynn - Libertarian
Biography from Laissez Faire Books and picture
Journalist Flynn (1882-1964) was the among the most prolific American authors who carried the torch of liberty during the mid 20th century. This feisty Irishman is best known for his spirited (and lonely) critiques of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal and of American entry in World War II. ... Nobody has done a better job debunking the myth that FDR was a selfless, noble, wise and benevolent ruler. Flynn showed that his only enduring principle was to stay in power. ... You ought to see what Flynn reveals about Hillary Clinton's idol Eleanor Roosevelt.


As We Go Marching / America's Emerging Fascist Economy / Toward a Planned Society, by Walter E. Grinder, Libertarian Review, Aug 1976
Review of the books As We Go Marching by John T. Flynn, America's Emerging Fascist Economy by Charlotte Twight and Toward a Planned Society by Otis L. Graham, Jr.
Justice can hardly be done to Flynn's masterpiece in a review. One must read and savor for oneself the brilliance of analysis and of prophecy found in the pages of As We Go Marching. I am convinced that the Flynn book is one of the few truly great works of socioeconomic analysis written in this century. I would go so far as to contend that if one has not read and digested the analysis and prophecy contained in this book, it is highly unlikely that one would have much understanding of the essential nature of the American System. We are fortunate that As We Go Marching has recently been republished as an inexpensive paperback.
Related Topics: Fascism, Militarism, Richard Nixon
Forgotten Lessons, by Richard Ebeling, Freedom Daily, Mar 1996
Review of Forgotten Lessons: Selected Essays of John T. Flynn (1995), edited by Gregory P. Pavlik
One of those few who never became one of FDR's global New Dealers was John T. Flynn ... Like many of the conservatives of his generation, Flynn was not opposed to all economic intervention in the 1930s. He believed that there had been private-sector abuses in financial markets ... But rather than see this as an "antibusiness" policy, Flynn argued that the NRA was FDR's collaboration with segments of the "big business" community that wished to control and limit market competition for their own monopolistic purposes ... Flynn argued that there were few things exceptionally "new" in Roosevelt's New Deal.
Forgotten Lessons: Selected Essays of John T. Flynn, by Paul Gottfried, The Freeman, Nov 1995
Review of Forgotten Lessons: Selected Essays of John T. Flynn, edited by Gregory P. Pavlik and published by FEE
It is remarkable that a journalist and legal scholar with Flynn's views became a regular contributor to Collier's and Harper's and a featured columnist of The New Republic. Despite his unfashionable stands as a critic of the New Deal and of American military involvement, Flynn remained a celebrated journalist into the post-World War II era. Major commercial presses brought out his books, and as a child, I recall hearing his feisty commentaries on the radio. .. Among his prescient observations, the most impressive are those dealing with the role of the military and technicians in the modern welfare state.
The Ideological Odyssey of John T. Flynn, by John E. Moser
Short biographical essay by the author of Right Turn: John T. Flynn and the Transformation of American Liberalism
During the late 1920s and early 1930s, John T. Flynn made a name for himself as a liberal--perhaps even radical--expert on economics. ... Flynn wrote weekly columns for both the New Republic and the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain. ... Flynn founded along with socialist Norman Thomas the Keep America Out of War Committee (KAOWC), whose membership came to include many prominent left-wing intellectuals, writers, and labor leaders. Little did Flynn realize, however, that his hostility to Roosevelt and his agenda was destroying his reputation as a liberal journalist.
Related Topic: Franklin D. Roosevelt
John T. Flynn: A Prolific Critic, by Justus Drew Doenecke, Literature of Liberty, 1981
Section of the bibliographical essay "The Anti-interventionist Tradition: Leadership and Perceptions"
One of the authors most lauded by McCormick's Tribune was John T. Flynn (1882–1964), and, among the anti-interventionists, probably no one contributed more books and articles than he. Flynn had become well-known among intellectuals in the 1920s and 1930s for his attacks on Wall Street manipulation, and he contributed a weekly column, 'Other People's Money,' to the New Republic. He backed Roosevelt in 1932 and helped staff Judge Ferdinand Pecora's investigation of high finance. He soon broke with the New Deal, claiming that such depression agencies as the National Recovery Administration (NRA) were simply way stations on the road to fascism.
The life and times of Murray N. Rothbard, by Jim Powell
Full title: The life and times of Murray N. Rothbard, who showed why private individuals can do just about everything that needs to be done
Lengthy biographical essay
As [Rothbard] explained, "... [The intellectual right] opposed [militarism and conscription] as instruments of mass slavery and mass murder. Conscription ... was thought far worse than other forms of statist controls ..., for while these only appropriated part of the individual's property, the draft ... took his most precious possession: his own person. Day after day the veteran publicist John T. Flynn–once praised as a liberal and then condemned as a reactionary, with little or no change in his views–inveighed implacably in print and over the radio against militarism and the draft ..."
The New Deal Made Them 'Right', by Damon Root, Cato Policy Report, Sep 2009
Discusses how various "prominent liberals" (Mencken, John T. Flynn, Al Smith, Burton K. Wheeler and Nock) found themselves categorized on the political right as a consequence of their opposition to Roosevelt's New Deal
Foremost among the members of this new "right" was the muckraking journalist John T. Flynn ... A graduate of Georgetown Law School, Flynn made his name in the 1920s and early 1930s as a left-leaning financial columnist and author whose books bore such titles as Graft in Business and Trusts Gone Wrong! ... Flynn's work earned him a prominent perch at the New Republic, then as now one of the country's leading left-liberal publications, where he wrote a weekly economics column from 1933 until he was dropped in 1940 for his increasingly harsh attacks on FDR's policies.
Non-Marxist Theories of Imperialism, by Alan Fairgate, Reason, Feb 1976
Examines writings of critics of imperialism that are not based on Marxist analysis
John T. Flynn's As We Go Marching ... remains one of the most brilliant analyses of the New Deal to have emerged from that period. Flynn—leader of the militant New York chapter of the America First Committee—traced the emergence of fascist economic systems in Germany and Italy and then noted their close similarities to the economic policies adopted by the United States during the New Deal. ... He argued persuasively that imperialism and militarism constitute essential elements of fascist economic systems since they provide the only channels for massive government expenditures ...
The Secret of Pearl Harbor: FDR's Role Exposed – in 1944, by Justin Raimondo, 25 May 2001
Introduction to a republishing of Flynn's 1945 pamphlet "The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor", coincident with the release of the film Pearl Harbor
John T. Flynn was one of the first to stand up to the war hysteria, defy the atmosphere of political intimidation, and start asking questions. ... He wrote two scathing pamphlets, The Truth About Pearl Harbor (1944) and The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor (1945), that raised the question for the first time: did FDR have advance warning of the Pearl Harbor catastrophe? Flynn answer was yes. ... Originally a supporter of the President, Flynn became one of FDR's bitterest, most relentless critics ...
Seventy Years Since FDR: A Time To Remember John T. Flynn, by Lawrence Reed, 10 Mar 2003
Review of John T. Flynn's The Roosevelt Myth on the 70th anniversary of the inauguration of FDR, highlighting the defying attitudes of Henry Ford and Sewell Avery, the president of Montgomery Ward
John T. Flynn was a successful and influential journalist with a reputation for candor and first-rate research. He was neither a shill for Big Government nor a puppet of Big Business. He railed against both when they conspired to undermine the Constitution, erode our freedoms, or suck the nation into foreign entanglements. He saw right through the public relations job depicting FDR as a valiant crusader for noble causes ... Flynn's critique of the Mussolini-inspired New Deal’s two main hallmarks – the National Recovery Administration (NRA) and the ... (AAA) – remains one of the most devastating ever penned.
Three New Deals: Why the Nazis and Fascists Loved FDR, by David Gordon, Mises Daily, 22 Sep 2006
Review of Three New Deals: Reflections on Roosevelt's America, Mussolini's Italy, and Hitler's Germany, 1933-1939 (2006) by Wolfgang Schivelbusch
Flynn, comparing the New Deal with fascism, foresaw a problem that still faces us today. 'But willingly or unwillingly, Flynn argued, the New Deal had put itself into the position of needing a state of permanent crisis or, indeed, permanent war to justify its social interventions. "It is born in crisis, lives on crises, and cannot survive the era of crisis.... Hitler's story is the same." ... Flynn's prognosis for the regime of his enemy Roosevelt sounds more apt today than when he made it in 1944 ... "We must have enemies," he wrote in As We Go Marching. "They will become an economic necessity for us."'
Related Topics: Fascism, Franklin D. Roosevelt
A Tribute to John T. Flynn, 31 Jan 2003
Biographical overview followed by quotes from Flynn's writings on Franklin Roosevelt, Roosevelt's monument, the New Deal, the Second World War and the Roosevelt myth
John Thomas Flynn was born in 1882 in Washington, D.C., into a middle class old Irish Catholic family, and went to school in New York City. During his formative years, the ramifications of the Spanish-American War created in him a life-long opposition to imperialism ... He entered Georgetown to study law, but was irresistibly drawn towards a career in journalism. After serving as the editor of papers ..., he began a career as a freelance writer ... he later worked as the chief researcher for the Nye Committee of the U.S. Senate investigating the role of New York banks and the munitions industry ...
Two Libertarian Classics, by Murray N. Rothbard, Reason, Mar 1974
Reviews of Albert Jay Nock's Our Enemy the State and John T. Flynn's As We Go Marching
Of all the Old Right "isolationist" attacks on the war policies of the New Deal, none was more trenchant, more incisive, and more brilliantly written than John T. Flynn's AS WE GO MARCHING ... [A]fter the book was written, Flynn continued to oppose interventionism in the form of the Cold War and American imperial adventures in Asia ... Flynn contributed an article to NATIONAL REVIEW in the fall of 1956, attacking militarism and military spending as a socialistic "racket." Characteristically, Buckley refused to publish the piece ... Previously it was the liberals who denounced Flynn and now it was the conservatives.


The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor, Oct 1945
Written shortly after the release of the U.S. Army and Navy reports on the Pearl Harbor attack, Flynn claims it was the result of "three incredible blunders" and that President Roosevelt "personally managed the whole crisis"
By January 1, 1941, Roosevelt had decided to go to war with Japan ... But he had solemnly pledged the people he would not take their sons to foreign wars unless attacked ... He felt the moment to provoke the attack had come by November ... He was certain the attack would be against British territory, at Singapore perhaps, and perhaps on the Philippines or Guam ... he did not order Kimmel to take his fleet out of Pearl Harbor, out where it could defend itself ... He was completely sure the Japanese would not strike at Pearl Harbor ... Thus he completely miscalculated ... When the attack came he was appalled and frightened. He dared not give the facts to the country.
The Road Ahead, The Freeman, Oct 1995
Excerpted from Forgotten Lessons: Selected Essays of John T. Flynn (1995); original article published in the Feb 1950 Reader's Digest as a condensation of Flynn's 1949 book
The road we are traveling is sufficiently clear. We cannot delude ourselves with the expectation that we may go a little way further and then stop in the belief that we can combine socialism and capitalism and preserve the best features of each ... [W]e must face ... that these two systems cannot live together ... For our principles of action we must go back to our Constitution, to our Declaration of Independence, to our history and to the example set by our national fathers. We must begin now to dismantle the tyrant State in America and to build up once again the energies of a free people.
Related Topics: Capitalism, Liberty, Socialism
A Tribute to John T. Flynn, by John T. Flynn, Adam Young, 31 Jan 2003
Biographical overview followed by quotes from Flynn's writings on Franklin Roosevelt, Roosevelt's monument, the New Deal, the Second World War and the Roosevelt myth


An Empire Built of Paper, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., The American Conservative, 27 Mar 2006
Review of Empire of Debt: The Rise of an Epic Financial Crisis (2006) by William Bonner and Addison Wiggin
Americans live, said John T. Flynn, "in the war-torn, debt-ridden, tax-harried wreckage of a once imposing edifice of the free society which rose out of the American Revolution on the foundation of the U.S. Constitution." ... Paying tribute to As We Go Marching, ... Flynn's great analysis of New Deal fascism, our authors understand the glorification of militarism and war that lies at the heart of right-wing statism. As Flynn quoted an Italian fascist, today's red-state fascists also see the ... destruction of war as "the great anvil of fire and blood on which strong peoples are hammered."

Books Authored

The Decline of the American Republic and How to Rebuild It, 1955
Partial contents: The Tragic Retreat - Government and Freedom - Republics in History - The American Republic - The Great Depression - A New Name for Socialism - The Dark Alliance - The Assault on the Constitution - From Depression to War Room
Related Topic: United States
Forgotten Lessons: Selected Essays by John T. Flynn
    by John T. Flynn, Foundation for Economic Education, 1995
Partial contents: Whose Child is the NRA - The Case Against Deficit Spending - The Hand in Your Pocket - The War Boom Begins - Militarism: The New Slavery for America - Coming: A Totalitarian America - Eggheads through History - Two Rackets of the UN
  • ISBN 1572460156: Paperback, Foundation for Econ Education, 1st edition, 1995
The Roosevelt Myth: A Critical Account of the New Deal and Its Creator, 1948
Partial contents: Book One: Trial-and Error: The Banking Crisis - The New New Deal - Book Two: Confusion: War on the Courts - The Forgotten Depression - Book Three: Betrayal: The Atlantic Charter - The Thought Police - Politics, Disease and History
Related Topic: Franklin D. Roosevelt
While You Slept: Our Tragedy in Asia and Who Made It, 1951
Partial contents: The Red Deluge - China's Two Wars - Two Great Designs - Architects of Disaster - The Road to Korea Open - The Great Whitewash - The Pool of Poison - The Hatchet Men - Left Thunder on the Right - The Press and Pink Propaganda
Related Topic: Asia


Pre-Fascist Italy: Tax and Borrow and Spend | by John T. Flynn, by John T. Flynn, Nathaniel Foote (reader), 15 Jun 2011
Audio of the Mises Daily article of 22 Apr 2011, which is an except of Flynn's As We Go Marching, 1944, Part One, Chapter IV
Related Topic: Italy

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "John T. Flynn" as of 21 Jul 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.