Brooklyn Boro

New book by Brooklyn writer sheds light on political destiny, levers and leaders who shape it

January 21, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff

The latest book by lawyer and writer Malcolm Mackay, whose Brooklyn roots extend back multi-generations, offers a revelatory look at political bosses and parties. It examines one extraordinary man who rose from local power in New York City to become a national player, a confidant of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and a meaningful lever in shaping the path of U.S. democracy. Historians have usually considered Louis Howe and Harry Hopkins as the closest aides and advisors to FDR. but author Mackay makes a strong case for including Ed Flynn in the inner circle.

Any average citizen who became angered, baffled, or simply gob-smacked by the political and governmental cast of characters on display in the press in recent years should welcome this book, which is basically about character. Honest, able, and public-spirited, Ed Flynn was a strong advocate for civil rights, labor interests, and international involvement. He was not afraid to speak his mind. He became a close ally to both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, such that Franklin even insisted that Flynn accompany him to the Yalta Conference with Churchill and Stalin.

Flynn grew up in the South Bronx and was the Democratic boss of the county for more than 30 years. His control of Bronx politics was virtually absolute. He was the strong political ally of Governors Roosevelt and Lehman and served as chairman of FDR’s 1940 presidential campaign. He chaired the national Democratic Party for several years and literally placed Truman on the ticket in 1944 as Roosevelt’s running mate.

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The book is a wonderfully clear study of the importance of statecraft and statesmanship in the politics of a successful democracy, truly a vital read for our time.

In With Flynn is available on Amazon, as is MacKay’s previous book, Impeccable Connections: The Rise and Fall of Richard Whitney.

 

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