In the presidential campaign of 1948, Henry Wallace set out to
challenge the conventional wisdom of his time, blaming the United
States, instead of the Soviet Union, for the Cold War, denouncing
the popular Marshall Plan, and calling for an end to segregation.
In addition, he argued that domestic fascism--rather than
international communism--posed the primary threat to the nation. He
even welcomed Communists into his campaign, admiring their
commitment to peace. Focusing on what Wallace himself later
considered his campaign's most important aspect, the troubled
relationship between non-Communist progressives like himself and
members of the American Communist Party, Thomas W. Devine
demonstrates that such an alliance was not only untenable but, from
the perspective of the American Communists, undesirable.
Rather than romanticizing the political culture of the Popular
Front, Devine provides a detailed account of the Communists'
self-destructive behavior throughout the campaign and chronicles
the frustrating challenges that non-Communist progressives faced in
trying to sustain a movement that critiqued American Cold War
policies and championed civil rights for African Americans without
becoming a sounding board for pro-Soviet propaganda.