ASHES OF VICTORY
For the New Dealers, the war's outcome created a world starkly distant from their early hopes and illusions. At home their political power was shattered beyond recall. Their leader, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was dead and his widow had anointed an antipolitician, Henry Wallace, as their standard-bearer. The war against fascism had been won by the awesome production machine created by free enterprise, under the direction of the largely Republican corporate executives whom Roosevelt and the New Dealers had once smeared as economic royalists lusting for a coup d'état. Side by side with the stupendous outpouring of weaponry, these businessmen had created a prosperous civilian economy that made New Deal-style reform politics superfluous.
Although President Harry Truman declared his commitment to New Deal goals such as full employment and public housing, his proposals went nowhere in Congress. In the 1946 elections the Republicans won control of both houses of the national legisla