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Witness ()

World Magazine Top 100 of the Century

    E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle
    (And thus we emerged again to see the stars.)
           -Dante, The Divine Comedy

It's unfortunate that the Left is so earnest and humorless, otherwise they might be able to enjoy the immense irony of the lofty position held by Whittaker Chambers in the Right's pantheon of 20th century heroes.  I mean think about it for a second, Chambers, who spent half his life as a bisexual Communist spy, was also a leading light of TIME and the National Review, a friend of Richard Nixon and William F. Buckley, was awarded a posthumous Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan, and made many conservatives' end-of-century lists, both for this memoir and for his personal influence.  That's a fairly interesting resume by anyone's standards.

Chambers would be a heroic figure to the Right even if he had done nothing else but to accuse Alger Hiss of being a Communist spy.  This action, so divisive that it still echoes through our politics today, helped to define the Cold War era, forcing people to choose sides--between anti-Communists, on the one side and communists, communist sympathizers and fellow travelers, and Anti-Anti-Communists on the other--and in turn hardening the lines between the sides as the nation headed into a period of prolonged cultural civil war, from which we have still not truly emerged.

But Chambers did not merely attack one man.  With his memoir Witness he declared war on Communism and the Soviet Union and explained in no uncertain terms just what the struggle was about--what was at stake, the methods that the other side was using, and the seriousness of purpose which would be required to defeat them--and at the same time he told a life story which somehow managed to unite nearly all of the themes of modernity in one gloriously messy tale of personal degradation and desperation, followed by political and religious redemption and salvation.  And to top it all off, not only does the story have all of the elements of a thriller and a courtroom drama, the author just happens to write brilliantly.

Chambers starts the book out with a forward in the form of a letter to his children (available on-line and well worth checking out) which seeks to explain why the book is necessary and why their father gained such notoriety in the first place.  It is worth quoting a largish chunk :

    Beloved Children,

    I am sitting in the kitchen of the little house at Medfield, our second farm which is cut off by the
    ridge and a quarter-mile across the fields from our home place, where you are. I am writing a book.
    In it I am speaking to you. But I am also speaking to the world. To both I owe an accounting.

    It is a terrible book. It is terrible in what it tells about men. If anything, it is more terrible in what it
    tells about the world in which you live. It is about what the world calls the Hiss-Chambers Case, or
    even more simply, the Hiss Case. It is about a spy case. All the props of an espionage case are
    there--foreign agents, household traitors, stolen documents, microfilm, furtive meetings, secret
    hideaways, phony names, an informer, investigations, trials, official justice.

    But if the Hiss Case were only this, it would not be worth my writing about or your reading about.
    It would be another fat folder in the sad files of the police, another crime drama in which the props
    would be mistaken for the play (as many people have consistently mistaken them). It would not be
    what alone gave it meaning, what the mass of men and women instinctively sensed it to be, often
    without quite knowing why. It would not be what, at the very beginning, I was moved to call it: "a
    tragedy of history."

    For it was more than human tragedy. Much more than Alger Hiss or Whittaker Chambers was on
    trial in the trials of Alger Hiss. Two faiths were on trial. Human societies, like human beings, live
    by faith and die when faith dies. At issue in the Hiss Case was the question whether this sick
    society, which we call Western civilization, could in its extremity still cast up a man whose faith in
    it was so great that he would voluntarily abandon those things which men hold good, including life,
    to defend it. At issue was the question whether this man's faith could prevail against a man whose
    equal faith it was that this society is sick beyond saving, and that mercy itself pleads for its swift
    extinction and replacement by another. At issue was the question whether, in the desperately divided
    society, there still remained the will to recognize the issues in time to offset the immense rally of
    public power to distort and pervert the facts.

    At heart, the Great Case was this critical conflict of faiths; that is why it was a great case. On a scale
    personal enough to be felt by all, but big enough to be symbolic, the two irreconcilable faiths of our
    time--Communism and Freedom--came to grips in the persons of two conscious and resolute men.
    Indeed, it would have been hard, in a world still only dimly aware of what the conflict is about, to
    find two other men who knew so clearly. Both had been schooled in the same view of history (the
    Marxist view). Both were trained by the same party in the same selfless, semisoldierly discipline.
    Neither would nor could yield without betraying, not himself, but his faith; and the different
    character of these faiths was shown by the different conduct of the two men toward each other
    throughout the struggle. For, with dark certitude, both knew, almost from the beginning, that the
    Great Case could end only in the destruction of one or both of the contending figures, just as the
    history of our times (both men had been taught) can end only in the destruction of one or both of
    the contending forces.

    But this destruction is not the tragedy. The nature of tragedy is itself misunderstood. Part of the
    world supposes that the tragedy in the Hiss Case lies in the acts of disloyalty revealed. Part believes
    that the tragedy lies in the fact that an able, intelligent man, Alger Hiss, was cut short in the course
    of a brilliant public career. Some find it tragic that Whittaker Chambers, of his own will, gave up a
    $30,000-a-year job and a secure future to haunt for the rest of his days the ruins of his life. These
    are shocking facts, criminal facts, disturbing facts: they are not tragic.

    Crime, violence, infamy are not tragedy. Tragedy occurs when a human soul awakes and seeks, in
    suffering and pain, to free itself from crime, violence, infamy, even at the cost of life. The struggle
    is the tragedy--not defeat or death. That is why the spectacle of tragedy has always filled men, not
    with despair, but with a sense of hope and exaltation. That is why this terrible book is also a book
    of hope For it is about the struggle of the human soul--of more than one human soul. It is in this
    sense that the Hiss Case is a tragedy. This is its meaning beyond the headlines, the revelations, the
    shame and suffering of the people involved. But this tragedy will have been for nothing unless men
    understand it rightly, and from it the world takes hope and heart to begin its own tragic struggle
    with the evil that besets it from within and from without, unless it faces the fact that the world, the
    whole world, is sick unto death and that, among other things, this Case has turned a finger of fierce
    light into the suddenly opened and reeking body of our time.

In 1952, when the book was published, we were only seven years removed from WWII, in which FDR and Churchill had allied the West to the Soviet Union in the fight against Nazism.  The great service which Chambers provided in this book, in his journalism for TIME like the imaginative Ghosts on the Roof (1945),  and in the Hiss Case, was--along with Winston Churchill in his Fulton, MO speech of 1946, declaring that "an iron curtain has descended across the Continent"--to force home the realization that the war against Communism, though "Cold," was just as much a "twilight struggle" as the war against Nazism had been.  For the next four decades the West, basically the United States, would pursue this war with various levels of determination and fecklessness, and would eventually win it, thanks, appropriately, to Ronald Reagan, a near contemporary of Chambers, who had been inspired by him, as reflected in that Medal of Freedom.

The problem for us looking back at Chambers, and it may make readers scoff a little at the heated rhetoric of his prose in Witness, is that the West's victory looks inevitable to us now.  Several powerful institutions--like the media, the Democratic Party, and the academy--have a vested interest in portraying the Cold War as a battle in which everyone pitched in to help defeat an enemy which pretty much self-destructed anyway.  The memory of the fierce opposition of the Left to the confrontation with the Soviet Union is being gradually erased from the historic memory, and along with it the acknowledgment that as late as the mid-1980's, mainstream intellectuals considered Communism to be a viable alternative to democracy, with which we would have to co-exist for the foreseeable future.   But this is, of course, the reality that existed at the time.  As Andrew Sullivan has recently written in a stirring 90th birthday tribute to Ronald Reagan, there's something perverse about the spectacle of two nuclear freeze advocates, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, basking in the economic and political afterglow of the defeat of Communism, a defeat for which they manifestly deserve no credit.  There is no doubt that Communism is a failure, but it is important to realize that its final defeat was not preordained.  Socialism too is a failure but the countries of Western Europe continue to cling to it and much of the Democratic Party continues to aspire to it.  Had the advocates of Détente, appeasement, and coexistence prevailed we might easily have found ourselves today in a situation where the entire world lay prostrate under the weight of various forms of statism, and, though the Cold War would technically be over, the peoples of Eastern Europe would still reside in what were essentially police states.

This is the context that must be recaptured in order to really appreciate Witness.  In fact, one must go further; Chambers genuinely believed, as did many at that time, that western capitalist democracy was doomed :

    I wanted my wife to realize clearly one long-term penalty, for herself and for the children, of the
    step I was taking.  I said : "You know, we are leaving the winning world for the losing world."  I
    meant that, in the revolutionary conflict of the 20th century, I knowingly chose the side of probable
    defeat.  Almost nothing that I have observed, or that has happened to me since, has made me think
    that I was wrong about that forecast.  But nothing has changed my determination to act as if I were
    wrong--if only because, in the last instance, men must act on what they believe right, not on what
    they believe probable.

A more recent memoir by an apostate from the Left, David Horowitz's Radical Son, was frequently compared by the critics to Witness.  But there was one huge difference; Horowitz knew when he moved to the Right that he was deserting the losing side and switching to the winners.  The power of Witness, on the other hand, derives in great measure from the author's discomforting sense of pessimism about the prospects of his new team.

And so in his book Chambers sought to warn the West about the dangers in its midst, in particular the fact that, for really the first time, the West faced a conflict in which significant segments of its own population were working for the other side.  Chambers drew upon his own insider's knowledge of Communist espionage to sound the warning that there were enemies in our midst :

    The deeper meaning of the Soviet underground apparatus, and all the apparatuses that clustered
    hidden beside it, was not so much their espionage activity.  It was the fact that they were a true
    Fifth Column, the living evidence that henceforth in the 20th century, all wars are revolutionary
    wars, and are fought not only between nations, but within them.

    The men and women Communists and fellow travelers who staffed this Fifth Column were
    dedicated revolutionists whose primary allegiance was no longer to any country--nor to those
    factors which give a country its binding force : tradition, family, community, soil, religious faith.
    Their primary allegiance was to a revolutionary faith and a vision of man and his material destiny
    which was given political force by international Communism, of which the American Communist
    Party (and hence the Soviet Government, which is only an administrative apparatus of the Russian
    Communist Party) are component sections.

That his warnings, and the proof he served up in the Hiss case, would eventually be warped into McCarthyism was unfortunate, but not for the generally accepted reasons, nor from the presumed causes.

What was truly unfortunate about McCarthyism was not the fact of the Red Hunt itself, but that it was left to such an incompetent as Joe McCarthy.  If, instead of circling the wagons to protect their own, responsible members of the Left had joined with the Right to root out men and women in government, academia, and the media who were actively trying to subvert democracy, the entire process might have been salutary, rather than turning into one of the more divisive episodes in our domestic political history.  But the Left, as a general rule, which had been untroubled by FDR's decision to imprison every American of Japanese descent on the West Coast during WWII, reacted viscerally to the idea of exposing and removing genuine agents of an enemy government from positions of power.

To a great, and unacknowledged, degree, this reaction was dictated by class animosity.  For the bitter truth is that Communism, particularly in America, was an ethos of the upper classes and the intelligentsia.  The middle classes, for obvious reasons, and the lower classes, for more complex reasons, never subscribed to the ideals of Communism.  And so, when the time came to destroy the Fifth Column, the destruction was led by men like McCarthy and Nixon, men with the stink of the common on them, and opposed by those who, like Hiss, had gone to the best Eastern schools and moved in the best social circles :

    No feature of the Hiss Case is more obvious, or more troubling as history, than the jagged fissure,
    which it did not so much open as reveal, between plain men and women of the nation, and those
    who affected to act, think and speak for them.  It was, not invariably, but in general, the "best
    people" who were for Alger Hiss and who were prepared to go to almost any length to protect and
    defend him.  It was the enlightened and the powerful, the clamorous proponents of the open mind
    and the common man, who snapped their minds shut in a pro-Hiss psychosis, of a kind which, in an
    individual patient, means the simple failure of the ability to distinguish between reality and
    unreality, and, in a nation, is a warning of the end.

Those seeking to understand the passions stirred up by the Hiss Case need look no farther than the condescending aside of Hiss to Nixon : "My college was Harvard, I understand yours was Whittier."  There, in a sentence, is expressed the contempt and animosity between classes which would soon turn a simple espionage case into the cause which separated a generation of Americans.  So while it was common to blame Chambers and his supporters for McCarthyism, most of the blame should really fall upon the Anti-Anti-Communists, those who, though they did oppose communism, could not bear to see their peers brought down by commoners, no matter what crimes those peers may have committed in the putative name of those very commoners.

The further time removes us from the events of the Hiss case and the more information is revealed from the secret archives of both the U. S. government and the old Soviet Union, the less ambiguous the legacy of Whittaker Chambers becomes.  No one outside of the most irrational Left wing circles will any longer argue that Hiss was innocent; at most they try to impugn the character of Chambers, hinting darkly at elements of psychosexual drama in the case.  And the files further reveal that throughout the Cold War, many of the groups on the Left (like those disarmament groups that Clinton and Blair supported) were, either wittingly or unwittingly, funded and controlled by the Soviet Union.  The scope and effectiveness of Soviet subversion in the West is continually being revised upwards and those who warned about it and opposed it look better and better in retrospect.  No one looks better than Whittaker Chambers, whose life's journey from darkness into light so closely parallels that of the West as to serve as an allegory for the age.  Witness, his testimony to that journey and his statement of faith, stands as one of the great books of any age and perhaps the best book of the 20th century.


Grade: (A+)


Whittaker Chambers Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: Whittaker Chambers
    -ESSAY: Whittaker Chambers’ Lenten Faith (Michael Lucchese, March 24, 2023, Providence)
    -ESSAY: Two Faiths: The Witness of Whittaker Chambers (Richard M. Reinsch, Religion & Liberty)
-ESSAY: Hannah Arendt on the New Right: Thinking like a communist (Samantha Rose Hill, March 4, 2024, Commonweal)
    -LETTER: 142- Hannah Arendt to Karl Jaspers New York, May 13, 1953
-ESSAY: Witness to a Crisis: The spiritual testimony of Whittaker Chambers holds up after seventy years. (Daniel J. Mahoney, 8/08/22, American Mind)
    -ESSAY: The informers : Hannah Arendt's appraisal of Whittaker Chambers and the ex-Communists (William Peter BAEHR, January 2014, European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology)
    -CHAPTER 5: Whittaker Chambers and the Confessions of Ex-Communists (Nolan Bennett, The Claims of Experience: Autobiography and American Democracy)
    -ESSAY: Rooted in the Nation: Whittaker Chambers’s Agrarian Conservatism : Conservative political action can, in fact, be a bulwark of counterrevolution. This is why Whittaker Chambers was a “conservative of the heart,” even if he did not consider himself a “conservative of the head.” In the final analysis, he was a witness to the permanent things. (Michael Lucchese, 3/19/24, Public Discourse)
    -ESSAY: Witness to a Crisis: The spiritual testimony of Whittaker Chambers holds up after seventy years. (Daniel J. Mahoney, 8/08/22, American Mind)
    -ESSAY: Whittaker Chambers’ Spiritual Journey (Thomas Hubert, July 12th, 2021, Imaginative Conservative)
    -ESSAY: Exposing evil: ‘Witness’ has its 60th anniversary (Stephen Smoot, Jul. 31st, 2012, Human Events)
    -ESSAY: Whittaker Chambers’ “Witness”: A Story for the Ages (Chuck Chalberg, June 1st, 2023, Imaginative Conservative)
-ESSAY: Whittaker Chambers through the Eyes of Rebecca West (PETER BAEHR, April 2, 2020, National Review)

Book-related and General Links:
    -ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA : Your search: "whittaker chambers"
    -ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA : Chambers, Whittaker
    -BOOKNOTES : Author: Sam Tanenhaus Title: Whittaker Chambers: A Biography Air Date: February 23, 1997 (C-SPAN)
    -Presidential Medal of Freedom
    -OBIT :  Chambers Is Dead; Hiss Case Witness (WILLIAM FITZGIBBON, NY Times, July 12, 1961)
    -EXCERPT : Foreward in the Form of a Letter to my Children from Witness  by Whittaker Chambers
    -ESSAY : St. Benedict (Whittaker Chambers, Catholic Encyclopaedia)
    -REVIEW : of Atlas Shrugged (Whittaker Chambers, National Review, December 28, 1957)
    -Whittaker Chambers (Spartacus)
    -ARTICLE : Hiss and Chambers: Strange Story of Two Men (ROBERT G. WHALEN, Sunday, December 12, 1948, NY Times)
    -ESSAY : Whittaker Chambers: The judgment of history. (Hilton Kramer,  New Criterion, Feb97)
    -ESSAY : The Alger Hiss Spy Case : Fifty years later people still ask the question about Alger Hiss: Was he or wasn't he a Communist spy?  (James Thomas Gay , History Net)
    -ESSAY : Ye Shall Be as Gods : Honoring Whittaker Chambers, a deeply religious man. (ROGER KIMBALL, July 20, 2001 , Wall Street Journal)
    -ARCHIVES : More on Whittaker Chambers : From the Archives of The New York Times
    -ARCHIVES : "whittaker chambers" (NY Review of Books)
    -ARCHIVES : "whittaker chambers" (Find Articles)
    -REVIEW : of Witness by Whittaker Chambers (Les Sillars , World)
    -REVIEW : of Witness by Whittaker Chambers (Lane Dolly, NeoPolitique)
    -REVIEW : Jan 29, 1970 Murray Kempton: A Narodnik from Lynbrook, NY Review of Books
               Odyssey of a Friend: Letters to William F. Buckley, Jr., 1954-1961 by
               Whittaker Chambers, edited with Notes by William F. Buckley, Jr., and
               Foreword by Ralph De Toledano
    -REVIEW : Nov 19, 1964 Conor Cruise OíBrien: The Perjured Saint, NY Review of Books
               Cold Friday by Whittaker Chambers
    -REVIEW : of Whittaker Chambers: A Biography. By Sam Tanenhaus (William F. Buckley, Jr., First Things)
    -REVIEW : of WHITTAKER CHAMBERS A Biography By Sam Tanenhaus (RICHARD BERNSTEIN, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of WHITTAKER CHAMBERS A Biography. By Sam Tanenhaus (Arthur Schlesinger Jr., NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : Theodore Draper: The Case of Cases, NY Review of Books
               Whittaker Chambers by Sam Tanenhaus
               Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case (updated edition) by Allen Weinstein
    -REVIEW : Theodore Draper: The Drama of Whittaker Chambers, NY Review of Books
               Whittaker Chambers by Sam Tanenhaus
               Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case (updated edition) by Allen Weinstein
    -REVIEW : of Whittaker Chambers: A Biography. By Sam Tanenhaus (Mark Falcoff, Commentary)
    -REVIEW : of Whittaker Chambers: A Biography. By Sam Tanenhaus (LANCE MORROW, TIME)
    -REVIEW : of Whittaker Chambers: A Biography. By Sam Tanenhaus (Elinor Langer, The Nation)
    -REVIEW : of Whittaker Chambers : A Biography. By Sam Tanenhaus (Jude Wanniski, Polyconomics)
    -REVIEW : of Whittaker Chambers: A Biography. By Sam Tanenhaus (PAUL JACKSON, Calgary Sun)
    -REVIEW : of Whittaker Chambers: A Biography. By Sam Tanenhaus (Roger Miller, Book Page)
    -REVIEW : of Whittaker Chambers: A Biography. By Sam Tanenhaus (John C. Chalberg , Crisis)
    -REVIEW : of Whittaker Chambers: A Biography. By Sam Tanenhaus (Mindszenty Report)
    -REVIEW : Apr 20, 1978 Garry Wills: The Honor of Alger Hiss, NY Review of Books
               Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case by Allen Weinstein
    -REVIEW : of THE LAST PUMPKIN PAPER By Bob Oeste (Joe Queenan, NY Times Book Review)

    -ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA : Your search: "hiss, alger"
    -OBIT : Alger Hiss, Central Figure in Long-Running Cold War Controversy, Dies (Nov. 16, 1996, NY Times)
    -The Alger Hiss Story (NYU)
    -ESSAY :  Alger Hiss Innocent, Anticommunists Declare! (Timothy Noah, Slate)
    -Alger Hiss (Spartacus)
    -ESSAY : Lessons of the Alger Hiss Case, by Richard Nixon (Jan. 8, 1986, NY Times)
    -RESPONSE : The Lessons of the Richard Nixon Case, Alger Hiss' response to Nixon's article (Jan. 21, 1986, NY Times)
    -ESSAY : ëVenona and Alger Hiss' (John Lowenthal, Intelligence and National Security)
    -ESSAY : THE FAITHFUL TRAITOR :  Alger Hiss's refusal to recant helped create the myth of his innocence (Eric Breindel, National Review)
    -ESSAY : Alger Hiss, Perjurer (Sue Schuurman, Weekly Wire)
    -TRIBUTE : Flowers for Alger Hiss : What if they gave a funeral for a cold-war icon - and no one came? (DAN KENNEDY, Salon)
    -ESSAY : Alger Hiss (Victor Navasky, The Nation)
    -G-FILES : Alger Hiss spy case (APB News)
    -The Alger Hiss Spy Case (History Net)
    -Minicourse on the Alger Hiss Case
    -REVIEW : of RECOLLECTIONS OF A LIFE By Alger Hiss (Dennis H. Wrong, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Recollections of a Life By Alger Hiss  (Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of JOSEPHINE HERBST By Elinor Langer (Robert Gorham Davis, NY Times Book Review)
    -LETTER : Alger Hiss Responds (Alger Hiss, NY Times, September 2, 1984)
    -INTERVIEW : "We're a long way from the end of this" : Alger Hiss' son talks about his new memoir, "The View From Alger's Window," and the espionage case that wouldn't die. (DAN CRYER, Salon)
    -REVIEW : of THE VIEW FROM ALGER'S WINDOW A Son's Memoir. By Tony Hiss (Ann Douglas, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of The View from Alger's Window : A Father and a Spy : A son's memoir and Soviet cable decrypts provide different perspectives on Alger Hiss (David Ignatius , Washington Monthly)

    -LINKS : Documents Relating to American Foreign Policy :The Cold War
    -Rosenbergs Trial: An Account of the Trial with links.
    -Venona : Soviet Espionage and the American Response, 1939-1957 (
    -The VENONA Home Page (NSA)
    -EXCERPT : Chapter One of Venona Decoding Soviet Espionage in America By JOHN EARL HAYNES and HARVEY KLEHR
    -REVIEW : of Venona (Maurice Isserman, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Venona : Decoding Soviet Espionage in America (Rorin M. Platt, American Diplomacy)
    -REVIEW: of Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America. By John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr & The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America-The Stalin Era. By Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev (Andrew J. Bacevich, First Things)
    -REVIEW : of Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America by John Earl Haynes and Harvey
 Klehr (Michael Smith,, booksonline uk)
    -ESSAY : Tales From Decrypts  (Victor Navasky, The Nation)
    -ESSAY : The Selling of the KGB : The post-Cold War world is awash in tantalizing tales from the KGB archives. But the new literature on Soviet espionage may be much less revealing than it appears.
(Amy Knight , Wilson Quarterly)
    -ESSAY : The Legacy of the Anti-Communist Liberal Intellectuals (Ronald Radosh, Partisan Review)
    -ESSAY : Rethinking McCarthyism (Daniel J. Flynn, Accuracy in Academia)
    -ESSAY : Cold War Without End : With the opening of long-secret files and a spate of new books, the battle over moles and spies and Redbaiting rages on -- even without Communism. For those naming names and crying smear, the political is all bitterly personal. (JACOB WEISBERG, NY Times Magazine)
    -ESSAY : The Enemy Within : What has come to be known as McCarthyism should, with more respect to chronology and power, be known as Hooverism (James T. Patterson, Atlantic Monthly)
    -EXCERPT : from The Twilight of the Intellectuals  by Hilton Kramer  Introduction: On the Style and Politics of an Intellectual Class
    -ARTICLE : Revelations, Secrets, Gossip and Lies: Sifting Warily Through the Soviet Archives  (Steven Merritt Miner, NY Times, May 14, 1995)
    -ESSAY : Disloyalty As a Principle: Why Communists Spied : During the 1930s and especially during World War II, some Communists felt they served a greater cause by spying for the Soviet Union. (Maurice Isserman)
    -ESSAY : On Loyalty : Some critics complain that Americans have made a fetish of Polonius's pompous admonition, "To thine own self be true," forsaking loyalties to family, community, and faith in the name of personal freedom. Yet in the modern world, the author says, the ancient virtue of loyalty imposes different obligations-and many are striving to fulfill them. (Alan Wolfe, Wilson Quarterly)
    -ESSAY : Soviet Spys : Did They Make a Difference? (Tim Weiner)
    -ESSAY : Tales From the K.G.B.  (Walter Schneir, The Nation)
    -ESSAY : Exhuming McCarthy (Joshua Micah Marshall, The American Prospect)
    -ESSAY : Secrets and Lies (Jacob Heilbrunn, The American Prospect)
    -ESSAY : Recalling Reds Under the Bed (Michael Barone, US News and World Report)
    -BOOKNOTES : Title: Allen Weinstein  Author: The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage In America--The Stalin Era  Air Date: March 14, 1999 (C-SPAN)
    -REVIEW : of THE HAUNTED WOOD Soviet Espionage in America -- The Stalin Era By Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev (Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of THE HAUNTED WOOD Soviet Espionage in America -- the Stalin Era. By Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev ( Joseph E. Persico, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of The Haunted Wood (Lynnley Browning, Boston Globe)
    -REVIEW : May 11, 2000 Thomas Powers: The Plot Thickens, NY Review of Books
               The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in AmericaóThe Stalin Era by
               Allen Weinstein and Alexander V