Richard Walton

Henry Wallace, Harry Truman and the Cold War

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Santrauka: In “Henry Wallace, Harry Truman. and the Cold War,” however, Richard J. Walton, who has written several books on American politics including a critical history of the foreign policy of John F. Kennedy, contends that the early years of the cold war constitute a tragedy of the second, avoidable, variety. He portrays Henry Wallace, Secretary of Agriculture during the first two Roosevelt terms, Vice President in the third, Secretary of Commerce in the fourth until disagreements with Truman got him fired from the Cabinet, and candidate for President in 1948 under the banner of the Progressive Party, as the apostle of an alternative postwar foreign policy. Had Wallace's lead been followed, Walton argues, we might have been spared the division of Europe into opposing blocs, the social fever known as McCarthyism and the American war in Indochina. Drawing upon the three‐volume history of the Progressive Party's 1948 campaign by Curtis Macdougall, the Wallace diaries, which have been published in edited form, and Wallace's private papers, the author has pieced together an account of the one‐time Vice President's growing disenchantment with the drift of American foreign policy, from his misgivings about Harry Truman's first bellicose contacts with Soviet officials in the spring of 1945 to the open break between the two in September 1946, to his chal Michael Mandelbaum is assistant professor of government and research associate of the Program for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. lenge to Truman's campaign for election in 1948. Some of what Wallace was saying then makes arresting reading now. He saw that the European colonial empires were doomed and warned against trying to prop them up. He cautioned, too, against offering support to unpopular govemmegts solely because they promised to resist the spread of Communism. Continue reading the main story Wallace took particular issue with Truman's approach to the Soviet Union, urging patience and gestures of reconciliation in dealing with America's erstwhile ally, rather than the unyielding attitude the Truman Administration adopted. Walton regards Wallace as an early proponent of what later came to be known as detente. He did call for conceding Eastern Eu rope as a sphere of Soviet influence‐a concession that succeeding Administrations have tacitly made. And he foresaw that atomic weapons would likely make a third World War a catastrophe without precedent, and thus had to be avoided at all costs. But he also believed that an expanding volume of trade between the two nations, wide contacts among their citizens, and their joint participation in international organizations would pave the way to good relations between them. The détente of the 1960's and 1970's, however, has been grounded in a common recognition of the need’ to prevent political rivalry from exploding into warfare, and in a mutual interest in placing some limits upon the nuclear armaments of the two rival Henry Wallace and Harry Truman, 1944.powers. No Soviet leader has shown any real inclination to throw his country's borders wide open to foreign visitors or their business. Neither has the United States nor the Soviet Union given the United Nations an important role in their foreign policies. More - https://www.nytimes.com/1976/10/17/archives/henry-wallace-harry-truman-and-the-cold-war-the-cold-war-as.html








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