The Rise and Fall of the People's Century: Henry A. Wallace and American Liberalism, 1941-1948

By Norman D. Markowitz | Go to book overview
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4
Reconversion
and Reaction

I've just heard of the death of our great President. May God bless this nation and the world. I scarcely know what to say. It is as if one of my own family had passed away. If we ever needed men of courage -- stout-hearted men, it is now. I simply can't conceal my emotions. How I wish you were at the helm. I know Mr. Truman will rise to the heights of statesmanship so all important in this hour. But, we need you as you have never been needed before.

Hubert H. Humphrey to Henry Wallace April 12, 1945*

Even if Dr. Win-the-War had emerged from the 1944 Democratic Convention in a stronger position than Dr. New Deal, Henry Wallace retained his loyalty to Franklin Roosevelt. Raising the banner of the Economic Bill of Rights, Wallace campaigned mightily and successfully to hold his liberal-labor followers for Roosevelt in 1944. He was rewarded after the election with appointment as Secretary of Commerce and prepared to take part in the legislative and administrative struggles to make full employment and the social-welfare goals of the wartime liberal movement into postwar realities.

Roosevelt's death in April, 1945, and Truman's accession to the Presidency ultimately shattered such hopes for Wallace and for most social liberals. Initially confident that political

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