For twenty years, between the late 1930s and late 1950s, Dorothy Thompson (1893-1961) was a force to be reckoned with. She became internationally famous after interviewing Hitler in 1931 and subsequently being expelled from Germany for her views of the soon-to-be-appointed chancellor. Her opinions and prophesies were read in a three-times a week nationally-syndicated newspaper column, a monthly column for the Ladies Home Journal Magazine, as well as being heard over network radio and from lecterns throughout the country.
According to Time magazine in 1939, Dorothy Thompson and Eleanor Roosevelt were “the most influential women in the U.S.” Thompson graduated from Lewis Institute (now IIT) in Chicago and earned her B.A. from Syracuse University in 1914. For a little more than a decade, she was married to novelist Sinclair Lewis. Thompson helped shape mid-twentieth-century public opinion on international affairs and U.S. politics, while simultaneously advising on family life, education, juvenile crime, technology, and whatever else was on her mind. In listening to Dorothy Thompson’s opinions, analysis and conclusions through Annette’s portrayal of the “First Lady of American Journalism,” you will perhaps be stunned to discover the similarities between the issues Thompson addressed half a century ago and those we face today.