Witness (Cold War Classics)
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First published in 1952, Witness is the true story of Soviet spies in America and the trial that captivated a nation. Part literary effort, part philosophical treatise, this intriguing autobiography recounts the famous Alger Hiss case and reveals much more. Chambers' worldview and his belief that "man without mysticism is a monster" went on to help make political conservatism a national force.
Regnery History's Cold War Classics edition is the most comprehensive version of Witness ever published, featuring forewords collected from all previous editions, including discussions from luminaries William F. Buckley Jr., Robert D. Novak, Milton Hindus, and Alfred S. Regnery. Witness will appeal to movie audiences looking forward to Steven Spielberg's upcoming blockbuster Cold War movie, Bridge of Spies.
yet experienced enough to observe that every Communist Party in the world is led and staffed chiefly by middle-class intellectuals. Besides, I had entered the Communist Party with a proper sense of humility—with somewhat the same feeling with which another man might enter a religious order. After a rapid glance around, I had few illusions about the party. Its methods were slipshod and much of its personnel inadequate or absurd. But about its historical necessity and purpose I had no doubts. I
personally to see it through the press. “Guard it like your life, Comrade Chambers,” said Comrade Minor. Faithfully, I watched while the story was set and Sam Shoyet set up the head. I was just about to lock the form when a frantic Minor shot into the composing room. He was hatless, breathless and very pale. “Stop press!” he shouted, for he was curiously given to melodramatics. One of the Lovestoneites in Moscow had somehow managed to get out the awful truth. They had backed the wrong man, after
seemed to have survived the purge. But I found that it is not enough merely to survive such an experience. I was confused and troubled, and more and more I felt that I had no moral right to continue editing the Daily Worker, where I had daily to set forth a political line with which I found myself in deep disagreement, and which I held to be often absurd, always harmful and dangerous to those who followed it. For the Stalinists had swept into power, proclaiming that this was “the third
inflicted by a justice that transcends the merely summary justice of men. It is the retributive meaning of treason because it is also one of the meanings of Hell.” A million people more or less read the words. No one, presumably, heard in them a tocsin of calamity. No one, presumably, asked himself: “What manner of man could think such thoughts?” No one sensed that, in those words, he was hearing the presentiment of an event that would shock the nation, that he was listening to a man, sitting at
him several times? MR. HISS: He was about to pay it and was going to sell his articles. He gave me a payment on account once. He brought a rug over which he said some wealthy patron gave him. I have still got the damned thing. MR. NIXON: Did you ever give him anything? MR. HISS: Never anything but a couple of loans; never got paid back. MR. NIXON: Never gave him anything else? MR. HISS: Not to my recollection. MR. NIXON: Where is he now? MR. HISS: I have no idea. I don’t think I have seen