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

further damage the late artist's reputation, remained silent. Under the circumstances, Wallace would have appeared like a fool rather than a mystic had he sought to tell the truth about the Pegler letters. As it was, the letters were of no importance in the campaign. Wallace's enemies had far more effective images of conspiracy to use against him than the vision of poor Roerich among the Mongols. To the liberals of containment, the letters only reinforced the already prevalent belief that the once-heralded heir of the New Deal was a strange and pathetic figure. For Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., who in The Coming of the New Deal told Pegler's story with greater skill and less forthrightness than the Hearst columnist, the letters served as a weapon to further denigrate Wallace long after he had fallen from the New Deal pantheon.

In retrospect, one can find in. Wallace's writings evidence that Roerich and the Banner of Peace was but another expression of his lifelong search to find a grand mechanism that would reconcile order with freedom and science with religion and would allow the new world of peace and cooperation to be born. For men to see the future, Wallace wrote in 1934, they must return to a symbol from the ancient past, perhaps to "the design used by Nicholas Roerich for the Banner of Peace." For Wallace, the Banner became for a while the vehicle through which diverse groups would "unite their economic, social and cultural endeavors under this imagined circle of unifying freedom." Eventually, the unity for which Wallace always searched would be achieved by the gurus of containment in the name of a mystical anti-Communism far more destructive than Nicholas Roerich and the Banner of Peace. 17


NOTES
1
"Stranger", Time, XXXVI ( July 29, 1940), p. 13.
2
See Pegler in The New York Journal American, March, 1948.
3
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., The Corning of the New Deal ( New York, 1959), pp. 31, 54. For Wallace and nutritional research, see Lord Russell , The Wallaces of Iowa ( Boston, 1947), pp. 386-387.

-341-

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - Prelude to the People's Century 1
  • Notes 31
  • 2 - Keeper of the Flame 36
  • Notes 74
  • 3 - The Missouri Compromise of 1944 81
  • Notes 117
  • 4 - Reconversion and Reaction 124
  • Notes 155
  • 5 - From Stettin in the Baltic 160
  • Notes 193
  • 6 - A Crisis of the American Spirit 200
  • Notes 226
  • 7 - Manifest Destiny, 1947: the Triumph of Containment 231
  • Notes 260
  • 8 - The Last Battle 266
  • Notes 297
  • 9 - The Twenty-First Century 304
  • Notes 328
  • Appendix: the Mysticism Legend 333
  • Notes 341
  • Select Bibliographical Essay 343
  • Index 361
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