Henry Wallace, Century of the Common Man, 1942

Vice President Henry Wallace gave this speech in 1942, a time when Americans were debating wartime strategy and America’s role in the post-World War II order. Wallace’s speech, also known as “The Price of Free World Victory,” reiterated support for Franklin Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” and criticized Henry Luce’s concept of the “American Century.” Wallace declared that the United States had an obligation to contribute to the war and to the post-war settlement. He described a liberal world system in which freedom, fairness, and opportunity would promote global peace. – M.B. Masur, St. Anselm College


John Morton Blum. V was for Victory: Politics and American Culture during World War II (New York, 1977)

Eric Foner. The Story of American Freedom (New York, 1998)

James T. Patterson. Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974 (Oxford, 1996)


Wallace, Century of the Common Man, 1942