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Picture of Henry Agard Wallace
[Library of Congress]


33rd Vice President (1941-1945)

Biographical Data
Religious Views
References, Links, & Further Reading

Education: Iowa State

Occupation: scientist, agronomist, businessman, publisher, writer

Political Affiliation: Republican, Democrat

Organizational Affiliation(s): Mason

Religious Affiliation: Episcopalian

Summary of Religious Views:

Wallace was something of a religious seeker throughout his life. In his youth, he was deeply influenced -- both in his religious and his scientific views -- by George Washington Carver, with whom he spent a good bit of time. Wallace was raised as a Presbyterian, but left that faith early in his life. He subsequently explored a number of religions, including Catholicism, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Zoroastrianism, and Christian Science. Eventually, he settled on Episcopalianism, but even while professing that faith, he became involved with the Russian mystic Nicholas Roerich. Some letters Wallace wrote to a Roerich supporter regarding his beliefs, sometimes called the "guru letters", very nearly became a campaign issue when Republicans obtained copies of them. They were only dissuaded from making the letters public when Democrats threatened to reveal Wendell Wilkie's extramarital affair.

Views on Religion & Politics:

Wallace's political and social views were strongly shaped by his religious beliefs.


"Every minister should be given a course in economics against the background of the prophets and the Sermon on the Mount."

"We can afford to spend some time in meditating on the principles that a leader of reform in Palestine proclaimed some 2,600 years ago."

"The problem is of a deeply religious nature. The appreciation of 'sustained yield' was woven into the Indian religion. For my part, I can't understand why the white man's religion can't be as good as the Indian's. I see nothing in the Bible to stand against our looking on Mother Nature in a deeply religious way"

"I think the church should be afire today with the keenness of its desire to bring about social justice."

"The idea of freedom -- the freedom that we in the United States know and love so well -- is derived from the Bible with its extraordinary emphasis on the dignity of the individual. Democracy is the only true political expression of Christianity." -- The Century of the Common Man (speech), 8 May 1942

"We who live in the United States may think there is nothing very revolutionary about freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and freedom from the fear of secret police. But when we begin to think about the significance of freedom from want for the average man, then we know that the revolution of the past one hundred and fifty years has not been completed, either here in the United States or in any other nation in the world." -- The Century of the Common Man (speech), 8 May 1942

"The people's revolution is on the march, and the devil and all his angels can not prevail against it. They can not prevail, for on the side of the people is the Lord." -- The Century of the Common Man (speech), 8 May 1942

"To draw conclusions from my life so far I would say that the purpose of existence here on earth is to improve the quality and increase the abundance of joyous living. The improved quality and increased abundance of life is a progressive matter and has to do not only with human life but with all plants and animals as well. The highest joy of life is complete dedication to something outside of yourself. I am convinced that God craves and needs humanity's help and that without that help expressed in terms of joyous vitality, God will have failed in this earthly experiment."

References, Links, & Further Reading: Books, Articles, Films, Links


Works by Henry A. Wallace

Agricultural Prices, Wallace Publishing Company, 1920; reprint, Agricultural prices
with George W. Snedecor, Correlation and Machine Calculation, Iowa State College Press, 1925, reprint
America Must Choose, Foreign Policy Assoc. and World Peace Foundation, 1934
New Frontiers, Reynal and Hitchcock, 1934
Statesmanship and Religion, Round Table Press, 1934
Whose Constitution?: An Inquiry into the General Welfare, Reynal and Hitchcock, 1936
Technology, Corporations, and the General Welfare, Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1937
Paths to plenty, (Earl foundation lectures) Home Library Foundation, 1938
The American Choice, Reynal and Hitchcock, 1940
The Price of Free World Victory,, L. B. Fischer, 1942
Christian Bases of World Order, The Merrick Lectures for 1943, Abington-Cokesbury Press, 1943
Democracy First, Oxford University Press, 1944
ed. and intro. by Russell Lord, Democracy Reborn: Selected from Public Papers, Reynal & Hitchcock, 1944
Sixty Million Jobs, William Heinemann, 1946
with Andrew J. Steiger, Soviet Asia Mission, Reynal and Hitchcock, 1946
Speeches in Britain, Reynolds News, 1947
Toward World Peace, 1948; reprint, Greenwood Press, 1970
with William Brown, Corn and Its Early Fathers, Michigan State Univ. Press, 1956
ed. by John Morton Blum, The Price of Vision: The Diary of Henry A. Wallace, 1942-1946, Houghton Mifflin, 1973
ed. by Richard Lowitt and Judith Fabry, Henry A. Wallace's Irrigation Frontier: On the Trail of the Corn Belt Farmer, 1909 (Western Frontier Library), Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1991


John C. Culver and John Hyde, American Dreamer: A Life of Henry A. Wallace, W.W. Norton, 2000
Frank Kingdon, An Uncommon Man: Henry Wallace and 60 Million Jobs, Readers Press, 1945
Russell Lord, The Wallaces of Iowa, Houghton Mifflin, 1947
Dwight MacDonald, Henry Wallace, the Man and the Myth, Vanguard Press, 1947
Norman D. Markowitz, The Rise and Fall of the People's Century: Henry A. Wallace and American Liberalism, 1941-1948, Free Press, 1973
Edward L. and Frederick H. Schapsmeier, Henry A. Wallace of Iowa: The Agrarian Years, 1910-1940., Iowa State Univ. Press, 1968
Edward L. and Frederick H. Schapsmeier, Prophet in Politics: Henry A. Wallace and the War Years, 1940-1965, Iowa State Univ. Press, 1971
Karl M. Schmidt, Henry A. Wallace: Quixotic Crusade 1948, Syracuse Univ. Press, 1960
J. Samuel Walker, Henry A. Wallace and American Foreign Policy (Contributions in American History), Greenwood Press, 1976
Richard J. Walton, Henry Wallace, Harry Truman and the Cold War, Viking, 1976
Graham White and John Maze, Henry A. Wallace: His Search for A New World Order, Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1995


Don F. Hadwiger, "Henry A. Wallace: Champion of a Durable Agriculture," American Journal of Alternative Agriculture, 8.1, 1993, pp. 2-3
Richard S. Kirkendall, "Reflections of a Revolutionary on a Revolution," Journal of the West, 31, October 1992 pp. 8-14
Richard S. Kirkendall, "The Second Secretary Wallace," Agricultural History, 64, Spring 1990, pp. 199-206
Richard Lowitt, "Henry A. Wallace and Irrigation Agriculture," Agricultural History, 66.4, Fall 1992 pp. 1-10
Bruce M. Swain, "Henry A. Wallace and the 'Guru Letters': A Case of Successful Stonewalling," Mid-America, 69, January 1987, pp. 5-19
Donald G. Stevens, "Organizing for Economic Defense: Henry Wallace and the Board of Economic Warfare's Policy Initiatives, 1942." Presidential Studies Quarterly, 26.4, Fall 1996, pp. 1126-39


Henry A. Wallace: An Uncommon Man


Works by Henry A. Wallace

Selected Works of Henry A. Wallace (New Deal Network)
25th Commencement Address -- 1943 (Connecticut College)

Biographical Sites

WALLACE, Henry Agard, 1888-1965 (Biographical Directory of the US Congress)
Henry Agard Wallace (1941-1945) (Vice Presidents of the United States -- U.S. Senate)
Henry A. Wallace (Iowa PublicTelevision)
Henry Wallace (Spartacus Encyclopedia)
Henry A. Wallace (Beltsville Agricultural Research Center)
Henry A. Wallace (Wallace Centers of Iowa)
Who Was Henry A. Wallace? The Story of a Perplexing and Indomitably Naive Public Servant, by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. (LA Times)
Who Was Henry A. Wallace? The Story of a Perplexing and Indomitably Naive Public Servant, by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. (Earthsharing Library)
"'Second Only to Roosevelt': Henry A. Wallace and the New Deal", by David B. Woolner (New Deal Network)

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