Scott Horton Interviews David T. Beito

Scott Horton, July 23, 2010

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David T. Beito, professor of history at the University of Alabama and keeper of the blog Liberty and Power at the History News Network, discusses his book (with co-author Linda Royster Beito) Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard’s Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s madness, his Justice Department’s witch hunt against those who opposed the New Deal regime and march to war, FDR’s direct and personal use of the IRS to persecute dissenters, widespread opening of mail, rumors of actual fascist threats to the Roosevelt administration, the role of Martin Samuel Dickstein, the only U.S. Congressman proven to have been an actual KGB agent, in spreading the “brown-shirt under every bed” meme, the Old Right anti-New Deal coalition, the persecution of Edward A. Rumely, the bogus mass sedition trial during WWII, the distance between the America First Committee and the pro-Nazi types, the Communists repeated flippa-floppas back and forth on the war question and hard core support for sedition persecutions and the foundations of the modern police/imperial state in the Roosevelt years.

MP3 here. (39:52)

David T. Beito is a professor of history at the University of Alabama and keeps the blog Liberty and Power at the History News Network. He is co-author with Linda Royce Beito of the book Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard’s Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power, and author of From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State: Fraternal Societies and Social Services, 1890-1967, and Taxpayers in Revolt: Tax Resistance during the Great Depression.

12 Responses to “David T. Beito”

  1. Bait – o. Appropriate surname.

  2. Not buying this. There's no mountain in that molehill.

  3. Roosevelt loved power, and wanted to hold onto it for as long as possible (four terms?!). He–and people like him–are dangerous.

    Roosevelt was indeed a dying man during his last year in office (April 1944-April 1945). He had arteriosclerosis and severe hypertension. The White House physician (and close Roosevelt friend), Vice Admiral Ross McIntyre, MC, USN, undoubtedly knew this–and kept it quiet. And yet Roosevelt ran for a fourth (!) term.

  4. Aw, you’re just a sorry old Lefties, or believe what you’re told by sorry old Lefties.

    Too often folks let their emotions warp their rational mind whenever they hear “Nazi”, as if they were the living embodiment of evil, somehow independent of notions such as logic and time/space.

    And that any attempt to understand better the men and time of the third reich IS hate; the same thing as wanting to ‘burn all the jews’.

    It should surprise no one here that the orthodox view of WWII and Hitlers Germany is garbled with the same propaganda and outright lies that taint other important events.

    Only as far as I can tell, anything having to do with Hitler in history has been subjected to ‘special treatment’ by those who presume to control us.

  5. A correction: The second sentence of the first paragraph should read: "People like him are dangerous."

  6. What bothers me is that Americans kept re-electing him. Raise taxes, confiscate gold, strangle businesses, and march America's sons and fathers off into the meat grinder of Europe* – and the only reason people stopped voting for him is because he died.

    *Not to mention the men he left to die in the early years of the Pacific.

  7. A good intro is Flynn's excellent book "The Roosevelt Myth". Thanks to the Internet, its acerbic style can be admired forthwith:
    http://www.rooseveltmyth.com/book/fdrmyth_Chapter

    "Actually, we had in this incredible institution a mixture of inconsequential nonsense, New Deal politics and Communist infiltration. Of course, Elmer Davis, Gardner Cowles and Robert Sherwood were not Communists. I do not know quite how much they were even New Dealers. Elmer Davis, at least, gave up a very profitable radio contract to work at one­fourth the pay, which could be said of few of his collaborators who were making more money than they had ever known in their lives, besides escaping military service. But as America moved toward the war there blossomed the most fantastic comradeship between flaming Red revolutionaries, foggy­eyed New Dealers and deep purple conservatives. The war brought them together in an incongruous brotherhood. They were united in the drive for American entry into the war, but for a variety of different and contradictory reasons. But among these hostile elements the one group that was not foggy was the Communist group. Of them at least we can say they knew what they wanted. The mere New Dealers, as that term came to be understood, comprised those wandering, vague dreamers who held to a shadowy conviction that somehow the safety of humankind depended upon the creation of some sort of ill­defined but benevolent state that would end poverty, give everybody a job and an easy old age, and who supposed that this could be done because they had discovered that money grew in government buildings. The others were largely devoted lovers of or worshipers at the ancient altars of Anglo­Saxon world hegemony. But they could all unite in a weird conventicle ­ Anglo­Saxon imperialists, groping New Dealers and dogmatic Red bigots ­ under banners like those of the OWI, the OPA and the BEW. And here and there was a fellow acutely conscious of the German blood in his veins and eager to purge himself of the stain."

  8. More:

    "One job of the Office of War Information [OWI] was to sell America to various foreign peoples. Among its first adventures in this field was selling us to the people of North Africa. Its agents dropped things from planes on the North Africans, the purpose being to make those simple people love us. Among the winged messages of good will were a cake of soap inscribed 'From your Friends, the Americans,' a children's coloring book, a rubber stamp with ink pad attached, a picture book called 'The Life of Franklin D. Roosevelt,' and a small package of seeds. The prize package was a pin button. On one side was an American flag. On the other side was a picture of Roosevelt ­ but not the Nordic FDR we knew. The picture was colored to make him look like an Arab. All this junk rained down in countless thousands on North Africa. Picking up the soap, the rubber stamp, the Life of Roosevelt and the pin with the Arabian Roosevelt, Arabs, Berbers and Senegalese were expected to take a wholly different view of war politics.

    But OWI had other tasks than selling America to the Arabs. It was also busy selling Russia to the Americans. The chief of the Foreign Language Section of OWI was a young gentleman 28 years old who had spent his entire life on New York's East Side, who spoke no foreign language and yet had the decision on whether news should be released to Europe or not. Anybody who disagreed with his high admiration for our Soviet ally was labeled a fascist. There was another child wonder ­ 23 years old ­ who was the Russian expert of the OWI and who saw to it that nothing went out that was displeasing to the objectives of our noble ally ­ including grabbing Yugoslavia. OWI's broadcasts to Poland ended not with the Polish national anthem but with a song adopted by the Polish emigres in Moscow who were known as Stalin's 'Committee of Liberation.' The expert in charge of the Polish section was actually born in Poland, but left there and spent the rest of his life in France where he was notorious as a Communist. He fraternized with the Vichy government while Hitler and Stalin were pals, but when Hitler invaded Russia he came to America and quickly became OWI's expert in explaining American democracy to the people of Poland."

  9. Martin Dickstein should be Samuel Dickstein
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Dickstein_%28

  10. Roosevelt was a Corporate Fascist Middleman.

    His job was to defuse a vigorous American Left and prepare the US for war.

    Stalin had him pegged–he called him a cunning fellow who had extended the life of Capitalism in the US at leas a generation.

    Time's up.

  11. Sadly most Americans are not very bright.

  12. There WAS a fascist plot to oust FDR; exposed by General Smedley Butler;I usually enjoy the guests on AWR but this is a load of Bollocks!

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