John T. Flynn, "The Roosevelt Myth"
Devin-Adair Company | 1948 | ASIN: B001F3E4I0 | 446 pages | siPDF | 10.4 MB
For a rather different view, the reader can now turn to The Roosevelt Myth, once more in print, which was and, after half a century, remains the major debunking of Franklin Roosevelt. "Polemical as only Flynn could be polemical," the work was turned down by every publisher the author approached. Finally, he met Devin Garrity, head of a small house in New York specializing in Irish and revisionist works, and the book appeared in 1948 under the imprint of Devin-Adair. It quickly became number two on the New York Times best-seller list.
Taking every phase of his presidency in turn, Flynn is merciless in exposing Roosevelt as a failure, a liar, and a fraud. Two subsidiary myths which he demolishes are of particular interest today, since they are the main supports for FDR's supposed greatness: his roles in the Depression and in the Second World War.
The mantra, "Roosevelt cured the Depression," exasperated Flynn. (Now it is often replaced with the banal and much more cautious: "He gave the people hope.") Didn't anyone care about facts? he demanded. The "first" New Deal came and went, then came the "second" New Deal, in 1935—and still the Depression, unlike every previous downturn, dragged on and on. Flynn pointed out that in 1938 the number of persons unemployed totaled "11,800,000—more than were unemployed when Roosevelt was elected in 1932" (his italics). Flynn deals with the impotence of successive New Deal programs and the fulminations of the "planners" and "spenders" in his chapters on "The Forgotten Depression" and "The Dance of the Philosophers."
Recent scholarship has bolstered Flynn's analysis. In studying why the slump that started in 1929 became "the Great Depression," the longest-lasting in US history, Robert Higgs identifies a critical factor: the exceptionally low rate of private investment. A chief cause of this failure to invest and create productive jobs, Higgs finds, was "regime uncertainty." For the first time in our history, investors were seriously worried over the security of property rights in America.
The comfortable mythology has it that businessmen hated Roosevelt because he was "a traitor to his class." The truth is that they feared him as a menace to the private property system, and they restricted their investments accordingly.
From the Foreward
This book is in no sense a biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is rather a critical account of that episode in American politics known as the New Deal.
As to the President, it is an account of an image projected upon the popular mind which came to be known as Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is the author's conviction that this image did not at all correspond to the man himself and that it is now time to correct the lineaments of this synthetic figure created by highly intelligent propaganda, aided by mass illusion and finally enlarged and elaborated out of all reason by the fierce moral and mental disturbances of the war. The purpose of this book, therefore, is to present the Franklin D. Roosevelt of the years 1932 to 1945 in his normal dimensions, reduced in size to agree with reality.
There is much to this story with which I have not attempted to deal either because it is not provable or, if provable, is not yet believable or because it belongs to a domain of writing for which I have neither taste nor experience.... I have, however, sought to clear up from the recently offered testimony of the chief actors, the diplomatic performances in that shocking and pathetic failure during and after the war. And I have included some account of the incredible mismanagement of our economic scene at home during the war.
I have limited myself severely to facts. A critic may disagree with my interpretation of those facts, but he will not be able successfully to contradict them. I have introduced into the text numbered references to my authorities and these appear at the end of the book. The facts are drawn from official records and reports, the testimony given in congressional investigations, the reports of responsible journalists and a large number of books by men who were actors in these scenes.
In addition to all this I may be permitted to observe that during the administrations of Franklin Roosevelt I was an active journalist and as such very close to the events described in this volume. For most of the time I wrote a daily column which appeared in a large number of American newspapers, a weekly column in an American magazine of opinion and I contributed to numerous national magazines literally hundreds of articles dealing with these events. This work brought me close to the stage of affairs and into intimate touch with the leading characters on both sides.
Tags: qHistory, qUSPolitics
Thanks to patrickkk @ gigapedia.com for original link.
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Robert Sobel, "The Pursuit of Wealth: The Incredible Story of Money Thoughout the Ages"
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David M. Kennedy, "Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (Oxford History of the United States)"
Paul Johnson, "Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties (Revised Edition)"
Tony Judt, "Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945"
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