Over the past two decades, as new information about Cold War espionage cases has trickled out of American and former Soviet archives, the impassioned defenders of such accused spies as Judith Coplon, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Harry Dexter White, Lauchlin Currie, Larry Duggan, and Alger Hiss have retreated, step by step, from their confident assertions about how Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, and J. Edgar Hoover, with the help of Harry Truman and other feckless Democrats, orchestrated a red scare that persecuted innocent Americans with baseless charges of spying. The only prominent figure to be vindicated by the documents was J. Robert Oppenheimer, the war-time director of Los Alamos, who was never recruited by Soviet intelligence.

One of the few cases still generating controversy, that of the Rosenbergs, no longer is marked by claims that they were innocents framed by the United States...


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