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Written and Narrated by John W. Berresford

The Hiss-Chambers case gripped the nation in 1948 and still provokes controversy. Take a deep factual dive into the story of two brilliant, fascinating men, sensational Congressional hearings, spy documents hidden in a dumbwaiter shaft and a pumpkin, the trial of the century, and the launch of Richard Nixon’s career.

Is Hiss guilty, or innocent? Email John with your comments at . We'll announce the vote progress here as the series develops.  Meantime, follow along with the chapter notes under the "about" tab.  

Jul 29, 2021

Above, Elizabeth Bentley, who gave evidence at the first HUAC hearing. Pic: Library of Congress

In 1948, Whittaker Chambers is Time Magazine’s Senior Editor.  He is forced against his will to testify to the House Un-American Activities Committee about his past in the Communist underground.  He names seven names, but...

Jul 22, 2021

Photo: Craig Whitehead on Unsplash

The backdrop of this case is American Communism — infatuation with it and disillusionment with it.  Communism predicted a violent upheaval that would produce a better life.  In actual practice, it produced only drab, poverty-stricken dictatorships that killed and starved millions. ...

Jul 15, 2021

Whittaker Chambers tries to have a peaceful life, working a farm and becoming a high-paid and powerful editor at Time Magazine.  But his past in the Soviet underground won’t go away.  Stalin’s pact with Hitler impels him to inform the government about the underground.  Worse, from time to time government...

Jul 5, 2021

Picture: Library of Congress
Meet Whittaker Chambers: brilliant, melodramatic, painfully sincere, perpetually discontented and idealistic, and physically hard to forget; writer of controversial poems, plays, short stories, and communist journalism; and, as spymaster for Soviet Military Intelligence, traitor to the...