Gr 7 Up-A pivotal court case is brought to life. The scene opens with details about the lives of Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss, giving some idea of the motivations that later brought them into the spotlight. Out of fear for himself and guilt for his own activities as a Communist, Chambers's testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee included his labeling many U.S. government officials as Communists, among them Hiss. Excerpts from their testimonies make clear the subsequent events of Hiss's suit against Chambers for defamation and his trial for perjury. Halftone photographs of the two antagonists, prominent political figures, and actual evidence seem to float toward readers due to "torn-paper" edges and shading. Text broken into short blocks with boldface headings, generous leading, and easy-to-digest sentences make what might be a deadly dull topic easily understood. Legal terms and procedures are clearly explained as they appear in the text. A few of them are also in the appended glossary. Discussion questions encourage readers to consider the evidence to make up their own minds about Hiss's guilt or innocence. Doreen Rappaport's The Alger Hiss Trial (HarperCollins, 1993; o.p.) is similar in its neutral approach to the subject and also encourages readers to utilize excerpts and evidence to draw conclusions. Alonso summarizes Hiss's life after his conviction and prison term. Secret Soviet documents declassified by the U.S. government in 1995 and 1996 offer significant evidence and bring the history up-to-date.-Ann G. Brouse, Steele Memorial Library, Elmira, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.