Madison authors, topics, book events & publishers
Stu welcomes Madison’s own John Nichols, author of The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party: The Enduring Legacy of Henry Wallace’s Anti-Fascist, Anti-Racist Politics, from the fine folks at Verso Press.
As to Henry A. Wallace, he was, during the thirties and forties, the highest-ranking American politician who was also resolutely anti-racist and anti-fascist. For a time in the late thirties and early forties, he was also, after Franklin Roosevelt, the most important American politician. Two terms as the New Deal Secretary of Agriculture, the war years as the most powerful vice president in modern history, up to that point. Even after losing the vice-presidential nomination to Harry Truman in 1944, he remained powerful, as secretary of commerce.
But then FDR died six weeks into his fourth term, and Wallace was not enough of a Cold War imperialist for the new President, who fired him in the fall of 1946. Which set the stage for his ill-advised and ill-fated campaign as the Progressive Party candidate for president in 1948, and a long slow slide into an outcast’s obscurity. What his career meant at the time, has meant since, and could mean for the Democratic party in the future, has occupied John Nichols for some time, and is the focus of this new book.
As to John Nichols, you probably know he is a Wisconsin native, associate editor of The Capital Times, National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation, and contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times. And in his spare time, he writes books. In addition to this latest book about Henry Wallace, John is the author of Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America; The Genius of Impeachment (New Press); Jews for Buchanan; and a best-selling biography of former vice president Dick Cheney, Dick: The Man Who is President , which was also published in French and Arabic. He edited Against the Beast: A Documentary History of American Opposition to Empire (Nation Books), and with Robert W. McChesney, has co-authored half a dozen book about the failings of the media and politics, most recently People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy.
Brothers and sisters, brothers and sisters, it is a pleasure to welcome to MBB my friend, John Nichols.