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

projected international Ever-Normal Granary, Wallace noted that "we are writing the postwar world as we go along. . . ." 78 The New Deal had written much of its program as it went along, subsuming a tendency toward humanitarian social reform under a commitment to save and expand the capitalist system. During the war, social liberals had formulated, in the plans for a world New Deal and a postwar welfare state, a blueprint for transforming the New Deal into a coherent program and faced powerful enemies who were no longer held in check by mass unemployment. In the aftermath of the BEW affair, social liberals would either have to adapt existing political institutions to the program of a people's century or accept a subordinate position within the New Deal coalition. To a great extent, the future of the people's century would be decided by Henry Wallace's struggle for renomination in 1944. In that struggle, both the strengths and weaknesses of social liberalism as a political force would be dramatically displayed.


NOTES
*
HAW to William F. Riley, September 30, 1941, HAW Papers, University of Iowa. The Wallace Papers, at the time they were consulted, had not been numbered by box number but by year, with certain years having more than one box, and including special collections donated by prominent persons and friends of HAW.
1
Malcolm Cowley, "The End of the New Deal", New Republic, LVIII ( May 31, 1943), p. 730.
2
For a brief and gloating summary of conservative victories over the New Deal, see Arthur Sears Henning in the Washington Times Herald, July 19, 1943.
3
See Eric F. Goldman, Rendezvous with Destiny ( New York, 1952), pp. 392-393, and Alonzo Hamby, "Sixty Million Jobs and the People's Revolution", Historian, XXX ( August, 1968), pp. 578-98. For examples of the work which pictures wartime liberalism as utopian: Sidney Hook, "The New Failure of Nerve", Partisan Review, X ( January-February, 1943), pp. 2-23. For the disillusionment created by the decade, see Arthur A. Ekirch, Jr., "The Decline of American Liberalism" ( New York, 1955) and Chester E. Eisinger, Fiction of the Forties ( Chicago, 1963).
4
Freda Kirchwey, "Program for Action", Nation, CLVIII ( March 11, 1944), p. 382. For a stimulating study that provides background for

-74-

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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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