This article examines U.S. Vice President Henry A. Wallace’s Cold War dissent as a window into racial geopolitics in a post–World War II era of decolonization and U.S. global power. Focused on Wallace and the United States, the article uses a wide range of published and archival sources to argue that Wallace and U.S. anticolonial liberal elites saw anti-racist egalitarian pressures in the post-1945 international system as not only a threat, as existing scholarship suggests, but also an opportunity for U.S. global expansion—particularly in the Pacific Rim. By the 1960s, Wallace and postwar anti-racist activists diminished in influence amid global Cold War pressures reviving racial restrictions and Cold War militarization after the Korean War. Nonetheless, Wallace’s anti-racist diplomacy, stemming from long-running U.S. and global liberal debates and political struggles over race and empire, suggests the wider role of anti-racist geopolitics and the paradoxical persistence of race as a global cultural concept in the postwar era.

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