Within the space of a generation—that is, since 1964, when Cold Friday was published to tepid reviews—Whittaker Chambers has been all but forgotten as a writer. Those conversant with the Alger Hiss case know, of course, that from the 1920s through the 1950s Chambers was frequently—at times steadily—in print. But his most enduring utterance seems to be the testimony he gave before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1948.’scholars of the Cold War seldom look beyond it to the ample personal record he left behind in his poetry, fiction, and journalism; few bother even with Witness, Cold Friday, and Odyssey of a Friend.[1] The work is there. It just doesn’t seem important. Charitable verdicts usually go no further than Sidney Hook’s late judgment, recorded in his autobiography Out of Step...

 

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