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The world that wasn't : Henry Wallace and the fate of the American century

Title
The world that wasn't : Henry Wallace and the fate of the American century / Benn Steil.
ISBN
9781982127824
1982127821
9781982127831
9781982127848
Edition
First Avid Reader Press hardcover edition.
Publication
New York, NY : Avid Reader Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2024.
Copyright Notice Date
©2024
Physical Description
687 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
Notes
"A Council on Foreign Relations book" -- title page.
Summary
"From the acclaimed economist-historian and author of The Marshall Plan comes a dramatic and powerful new perspective on the political career of Henry Wallace-a perspective that will forever change how we view the making of US and Soviet foreign policy at the dawn of the Cold War"-- Provided by publisher.
"From the acclaimed economist-historian and author of The Marshall Plan comes a dramatic and powerful new perspective on the political career of Henry Wallace-a perspective that will forever change how we view the making of US and Soviet foreign policy at the dawn of the Cold War.Henry Wallace is the most important, and certainly the most fascinating, almost-president in American history. As FDR's third-term vice president, and a hero to many progressives, he lost his place on the 1944 Democratic ticket in a wild open convention, as a result of which Harry Truman became president on FDR's death. Books, films, and even plays have since portrayed the circumstances surrounding Wallace's defeat as corrupt, and the results catastrophic. Filmmaker Oliver Stone, among others, has claimed that Wallace's loss ushered in four decades of devastating and unnecessary Cold War. Now, based on striking new finds from Russian, FBI, and other archives, Benn Steil's The World That Wasn't paints a decidedly less heroic portrait of the man, of the events surrounding his fall, and of the world that might have been under his presidency. Though a brilliant geneticist, Henry Wallace was a self-obsessed political figure, blind to the manipulations of aides-many of whom were Soviet agents and assets. From 1933 to 1949, Wallace undertook a series of remarkable interventions abroad, each aimed at remaking the world order according to his evolving spiritual blueprint. As agriculture secretary, he fell under the spell of Russian mystics, and used the cover of a plant-gathering mission to aid their doomed effort to forge a new theocratic state in Central Asia. As vice president, he toured a Potemkin Siberian continent, guided by undercover Soviet security and intelligence officials who hid labor camps and concealed prisoners. He then wrote a book, together with an American NKGB journalist source, hailing the region's renaissance under Bolshevik leadership. In China, the Soviets uncovered his private efforts to coax concessions to Moscow from Chiang Kai-shek, fueling their ambitions to dominate Manchuria. Running for president in 1948, he colluded with Stalin to undermine his government's foreign policy, allowing the dictator to edit his most important election speech. It was not until 1950 that he began to acknowledge his misapprehensions regarding the Kremlin's aims and conduct. Meticulously researched and deftly written, The World That Wasn't is a spellbinding work of political biography and narrative history that will upend how we see the making of the early Cold War"-- Provided by publisher.
Variant and related titles
World that was not
Henry Wallace and the fate of the American century
Other formats
Online version: Steil, Benn World that wasn't First Avid Reader Press hardcover edition. New York : Avid Reader Press, 2024
Format
Books
Language
English
Added to Catalog
March 07, 2024
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents
Why Wallace?
Of maize, math, and mysticism
The farmer's New Deal
The guru and the new country
Fighting fascists, planning peace
Into Siberia
China, through a glass darkly
History's pivot
Keeping up with the Joneses
"60 million jobs," four million strikers
Mission to Moscow
The odd tale of the Sino-Soviet Treaty
The nuclear option
The New Republic
Gideon's Red Army
Collusion
The people speak
Belief betrayed.
Citation

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