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2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the Hiss-Chambers espionage case, which gripped America 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. Comments and politely phrased corrections or criticism are welcome by the writer and narrator, at john_berresford@comcast.net.

Mar 17, 2022

 
This is my final Podcast, and the shortest one — just my last thoughts after decades of study.  The Hiss-Chambers Case will live on because it is important post-WWII American history, and also a great yarn, a feast for trial lawyers, and an example of the endless fight between totalitarianism and freedom, between...


Mar 10, 2022

Whittaker Chambers

This Podcast, the second to last, is the longest one.  The Hiss-Chambers Case did not die.  Many new facts were discovered, the majority of them harmful to Hiss, starting in the 1970s.  The Freedom of Information Act led the US government (after a lawsuit) to produce about 40,000 pages of paper,...


Mar 3, 2022

As Chambers wrote to his friend Bill Buckley, most of us think the story of Oedipus ends when he learns he married his own mother and puts his eyes out.  In fact, however, Oedipus lived for years afterwards.  After the trials, Chambers lived for 10 years and Hiss for 45.  Neither escaped The Case, nor did their wives...


Feb 24, 2022

 
Several people have told me that, of my 38 episodes, this is their favorite.  See if you agree.
 
It is all about the question Hiss could never answer:  how, if Hiss is innocent, did the 64 Typed Spy Documents get typed on his home typewriter.  You may recall that Hiss first told The Grand Jury that Chambers broke...


Feb 17, 2022

Alger Hiss is taken to prison
 
Alger Hiss’s conviction — technically for perjury, but effectively for treason — was a major event.  It was a disaster for The Establishment, especially liberal Democrats, and vindication for Republicans and populist Democrats.  The 18 month labyrinth of HUAC hearings, depositions...