Mayor John Lindsay

Published in 20th-century / Contemporary History, General, Issue 5 (Sep/Oct 2009), Letters, Volume 17

Sir,

—Tara Keenan-Thomson’s description (HI 17.4, July/Aug. 2009) of New York’s Mayor John Lindsay as ‘an American Republican’ strikes an odd note, particularly in the context of an essay that pushes the theme of Irish-American support for ‘conservative hegemony’ and ‘racist attitudes’. Technically speaking, Lindsay was still a Republican when he honoured Bernadette Devlin with the keys to New York City, but he was very much alienated from his party. Indeed, Lindsay was denied his party’s nomination that same fall, winning re-election instead on the Liberal Party ticket. And within less than three years he was a full-fledged Democrat, running (unsuccessfully) for president from the decidedly liberal side of that party’s spectrum. One doubts that very many conservative Irish-Americans, racist or otherwise, had much time for John Lindsay.

—Yours etc.,
PAT MURPHY
Toronto

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