Henry Wallace

Oliver Stone Fails History ... Again

01.24.13 8:55 PM ET

Conrad Black takes another whack at Oliver Stone.

On its face, it is fantastic that even Stone, who as a cinematic presenter of American history has not had both oars in the water for many decades, could po-facedly claim that it would have been a benign development if Wallace had been renominated for the vice presidency in 1944 and succeeded to the presidency on the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 12, 1945, instead of Harry S. Truman. …

The facts are that Roosevelt, once he got a good look at Wallace, thought him an impressionable kook, with commendably altruistic goals, but too naïve and gullible for the highest offices, and he agreed and ordered his removal in favor of Truman, but felt sufficient sympathy for Wallace to retain him in the completely inappropriate position of commerce secretary (though Wallace proved a very able businessman after his political career). It is little wonder that, as Stone and Kuznick pointed out in the Times on January 16, Roosevelt thought there was “no one more of the American soil” than Wallace, since Wallace and his family owned one of the country’s leading agricultural publications, Wallace was a serious agronomist, and he and his father had served three presidents a total of twelve years as secretary of agriculture. But this has nothing to do with the Cold War.