Whittaker Chambers: A Biography (Modern Library Series)

Whittaker Chambers: A Biography (Modern Library Series)

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by Sam Tanenhaus
     
 

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Whittaker Chambers is the first biography of this complex and enigmatic figure. Drawing on dozens of interviews and on materials from forty archives in the United States and abroad—including still-classified KGB dossiers—Tanenhaus traces the remarkable journey that led Chambers from a sleepy Long Island village to center stage in America's greatest

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Overview

Whittaker Chambers is the first biography of this complex and enigmatic figure. Drawing on dozens of interviews and on materials from forty archives in the United States and abroad—including still-classified KGB dossiers—Tanenhaus traces the remarkable journey that led Chambers from a sleepy Long Island village to center stage in America's greatest political trial and then, in his last years, to a unique role as the godfather of post-war conservatism. This biography is rich in startling new information about Chambers's days as New York's "hottest literary Bolshevik"; his years as a Communist agent and then defector, hunted by the KGB; his conversion to Quakerism; his secret sexual turmoil; his turbulent decade at Time magazine, where he rose from the obscurity of the book-review page to transform the magazine into an oracle of apocalyptic anti-Communism. But all this was a prelude to the memorable events that began in August 1948, when Chambers testified against Alger Hiss in the spy case that changed America. Whittaker Chambers goes far beyond all previous accounts of the Hiss case, re-creating its improbably twists and turns, and disentangling the motives that propelled a vivid cast of characters in unpredictable directions.

A rare conjunction of exacting scholarship and narrative art, Whittaker Chambers is a vivid tapestry of 20th century history.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
Remarkable...The kind of writing that can keep you propped up against your pillow late at night.
Time
One of the year's ten best.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375751455
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/28/1998
Series:
Modern Library Paperbacks Series
Pages:
656
Sales rank:
634,530
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.30(d)

What People are saying about this

Hilton Kramer
Marvelous...One of the best books ever written about the Communist experience...As compelling as a good novel.
Wall Street Journal Staff
Magisterial...An epic tale, rich in pity and terror, with a great theme: the human cost of political morality...This is biography at its best.
David M. Oshinksy
Splendid...Sam Tanenhaus has given Chambers the best tribute of all--a firm place in history.
John Kenneth Galbraith
This is truly the last word and should be.
Publishers Weekly
One of the year's ten best.

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