Alger Hiss

Now We Know
June 17, 2009

Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America By John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev (Yale University Press, 637 pp., $35) If one were trying to define the lowest point in the long and venerable tradition of American anti-communism, surely it came in 2003, with the publication of Ann Coulter's Treason.

The End of the Journey
July 02, 2007

I. In late 1988, when I set out to write a life of Whittaker Chambers,the cold war had reached its ceremonial endgame: Mikhail Gorbachevacknowledging the autonomy of peoples long after they had liberatedthemselves, valiant students halting tank columns in TiananmenSquare. It was an impressive, if occasionally hollow, spectacle,and it inspired a chorus of sweeping pronouncements in the UnitedStates.

Devils in America
February 16, 2004

Reds: McCarthyism in Twentieth-Century America By Ted Morgan (Random House, 685 pp., $35)  NEARLY FIFTY YEARS AGO the United States Senate voted to censure Senator Joseph McCarthy. Within three years of his disgrace, McCarthy was dead, his health destroyed by heavy drinking. His time in the limelight had been brief.

TRB: Washington Wire
July 05, 1954

Eisenhower has one last month to make the lackluster 83rd Congress pass his program. "This is the crucial test. Ike wasted his first year in office, then last January dropped a two-year load into the hopper. Will Congress act? The pace quickens now and the big lobbies start to grind. The tariff battle is lost. This was an issue where progressives backed Ike. He repeatedly promised to base his whole foreign economic program on "trade not aid" and now his ineptness has lost the fight.