Another book on the Hiss case

Posted by Helen Tuesday, April 24, 2012 , ,

Harvey Klehr is one of  the undoubted experts on matters to do with Communist infiltration, espionage and agents of influence in the United States and has fought the good fight with many in the media and academia who still insist that a.) Alger Hiss was not a Soviet spy because b.) he has always said he was not and c.) if by some chance it may be remotely true that he passed on some insignificant amount of information to a deeply unpleasant hostile regime then he was fully justified to do so because d.) there was McCarthyism and whatever else before that.

A few days ago, Professor Klehr reviewed, mostly positively, another book on the case in the Wall Street Journal.

There really is nothing new to say about Alger Hiss's guilt, which has been proven beyond any doubt over and over again. There might be when the archives of the former Soviet military intelligence, the GRU are opened, which will happen very soon after the devils build their own ice skating rink.

What is of interest is the refusal by so many of the media and academia to accept this evidence, a refusal that amounts to a collective pathological state.

To Ms. Shelton, the Hiss case excites intense emotion because it was a battle between "collectivism and individualism, between central planning and local/state authority, and between rule by administrative fiat and free markets." Perhaps it was, but she is wrong to take a perjurer at his word when she accepts Hiss's claim that he was a loyal New Dealer. (He said that he was the victim of a conservative cabal intent on dismantling the welfare state). In fact, most of the young lawyers and economists who joined communist cells in Washington, D.C., in the mid-1930s were disappointed with the New Deal and with President Roosevelt, believing that his reforms did not go far enough.
At least one of the commenters points out that if these people ever acknowledged Hiss's guilt and stopped justifying the behaviour of others, they would have to re-think everything and rehabilitate, if not Joe McCarthy whose efforts were of questionable value, then a young Congressman of the time, Richard Nixon. Without him there would have been no Hiss case and a great deal would not have been discovered.


  1. dfordoom Says:
  2. Joe McCarthy's mistake was in under-estimating the scale of the problem, and even more seriously in under-estimating the power of those who weren't outright communists but were very sympathetic to the cause. M. Stanton Evans' Blacklisted by History is a spirited defence of McCarthy.

  3. Helen Says:
  4. I haven't read that one. Thanks for letting me and our readers know.

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