Commentary Magazine


Article Preview

The Secret World of American Communism, by Harvey Klehr, John Earl Haynes, and Fridrikh Igorevich Firsov

- Abstract

One day when I was about twelve years old, while rummaging in my father’s bookcase, I came across Whittaker Chambers’s Witness. Not a book for children; but my political interests were rather precocious, and Chambers’s melodramatic way of telling his story gripped my attention.

I did not get down to reading that book from cover to cover until many years later, but even at the age of twelve I had no trouble grasping its principal argument—namely, that a Soviet espionage ring had been placed in the highest circles of Washington before and during World War II, and that one of its most important figures was a man by the name of Alger Hiss.



About the Author

Mark Falcoff is resident scholar emeritus at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.