Skip to comments.The Enduring Relevance of Whittaker Chambers’ Witness
Posted on 10/24/2020 6:04:10 AM PDT by Kaslin
First published nearly 70 years ago, Whittaker Chambers Witness provides relevant, instructive, and inspiring encouragement for those currently engaged in the fight against todays ascendant Left. Although there is a wealth of useful insights within its covers, two stand out as central.
First, Leftist ideologies are always and everywhere about acquiring power to wage an assault upon liberal (in the classical sense) values and institutions. Second, individual redemption after falling under the sway of these or any other malign influence is indeed possible by dint of reason, faith in a transcendent power, and the courage to follow those lights.
Witness is most well known as the firsthand account of Chambers exposure of and subsequent testimony against members of the communist Ware Group, which led to the 1949-50 espionage trials of Alger Hiss, then a high-ranking State Department official. Hiss was ultimately found guilty of perjury and sentenced to prison.
But Witness is more than just that story. It is a poignant autobiography of a young man born at the turn of the twentieth century, coming of age in the wake of the devastation of World War I. He became obsessed, as did many contemporaries, with what they saw as the crisis of history in the 20th century. It was despair generated by this fixation that drove Chambers to become a communist at the age of 24.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
I remember film vials buried in the garden.
Whitaker Chambers’ Witness is an American classic which should be required reading in college.
This article is a great read too.
Hidden in a pumpkin in the garden.
Although mentioned by many as the great autobiography of the twentieth century, it is amazing how many supposedly well educated people are unfamiliar with it. Shows the leftist nature of our universities.
I read the fiftieth edition and gave ti to a friend. I also flew on a flight with the guy that now owns Whitaker’s farmstead.
Reagan, in his autobiography, said Chambers helped to open his eyes to the domestic communist threat.
I also gave to a friend, a retired Air Force pilot who had never heard of the book.
Excellent article. Thanks for posting.
During the impeachment hearings I remember thinking that the State Department hasnt changed much since the days of Alger Hiss.
I have a picture of myself standing right where those film vials were hidden. It was a pumpkin patch in1948 but trees grow there today.
This is an amazing book, and it clearly shows just how long the left has sought this evil of Marxist thinking and influence. Chambers tried to expose the presence of communists in the US government early on, but no one would listen to him, until Richard Nixon did.It shows that even when exposed, the left will deny their guilt, as Alger Hiss did. Even though Hiss and Chambers had been good friends, Hiss insisted in his trial that he did not know Chambers.
Is the site marked? And is Chambers’ farm still there, or has it been overrun by subdivisions? I have been through Westminster a couple of times, years ago, on Civil War trips following Jeb Stuart to Gettysburg, but I’ve never stopped to visit the Chambers site.
If you could read only one more book in your life, this exquisitely written memoir, Witness, by Whittaker Chambers, published in 1952, should be it. It is also available in audio format
You will learn from nationally known journalist Whittaker Chambers, in the most interesting, beautifully written fashion, his own background, the background of his wife and others, the assignments being carried out under facade by “fellow travelers,” the events that caused his awakening, his going into hiding with his family, the scope and content of the infiltration of the U.S. at the highest levels of U.S. government and the most prestigious foundations, and the startling details of his brave historic testimony, you will understand with clarity seemingly disparate events and campaigns that you and your parents and children have been been witnessing increasingly in our times. You’ll understand the why and the how.
You will be able to understand events of our time with clarity, because they are part of the continuum of plans and infiltrations Chambers describes in Witness. You will be grateful to have or listened to this book. You won’t be a happy camper, but you will have the background to understand with a clarity you never had before what is really going on right up to today.
I cant recall, did Richard Nixon as senator end up seeing the contents of those vials?
... and the press/left never forgot it.
I have been wanting to read that for years.
This is the year.
Nixon was still a representative at the time. Although there is a film clip of him looking at the films with a magnifying glass, I read that it may have been a publicity shot because microfilm can't be read that way. The films were copies of documents that the Hiss ring had stolen.
You won’t regret it.
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