when pigs fly … expect the unbelievable

Archive for July 2015

“Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.”  — Dorothy Thompson

Dorothy Thompson is known as the First Lady of American Journalism.  Originally a publicist for the Red Cross and the women’s suffrage movement, she subsequently became a foreign correspondent to Russia, publishing a well received book on the Russian Revolution in 1928, The New Russia.Dorothy Thompson

Dorothy Thompson is famous for her interview with Adolf Hitler in 1931, and for underestimating the danger of Hitler, calling him “insignificant.”  Repentant, she became an obstinate adversary of Hitler and Nazism.  She returned to Germany three (3) years later and was expelled from the country in a matter of hours after her arrival.  (Apparently Hitler hadn’t taken kindly to the “insignificant” comment.)  The expulsion caught the imagination of American citizens and contributed to her rise as a political journalist.  She was a columnist for the New York Herald Tribune, with a syndicated column appearing three (3) times weekly, alternating with that of Walter Lippmann.  The column lasted from 1934 to 1958.

Thompson dabbled in politics.  She had been proposed in 1940 as a running mate for Wendell Wilkie but and endorsed the third term run of Franklin D. Roosevelt.  In 1939, Time Magazine recognized her as the second most influential woman in the world, following Eleanor Roosevelt.

Dorothy Thompson was married three times, including to the novelist Sinclair Lewis and Czech artist Maxim Kopf.  She also had a relationship German author, Christa Winslow, author of Mädchen in Uniform, claiming that she (Thompson) had a “right to love.”

Thompson was educated at Syracuse University, and her papers are stored there (70 linear feet of them).

Born in 1984, she lived until 1961.

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