HENRY A. WALLACE, secretary of agriculture, U.S. vice president, secretary of commerce, and presidential candidate, was born in Ames, Iowa, to a family of farmers, academics, activists, and newspaper editors. He was one of the leading progressives of the United States in the 20th century and held high office in an era in which people on the political left could directly influence public policy. Philosophically, Wallace believed in the “natural brotherhood” of humanity, the need for cooperation, the nobility of the those who worked the land, the importance of distributing fairly the bounty produced by working people, and the importance of using government to prevent the monopolization of eastern industrial interests.

His grandfather, Henry C. Wallace, was Pennsylvania-born and was ordained as a liberal Calvinist minister. ...

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