than 50 years after it began, the Hiss case continues
to generate an extraordinary number of books - some
scholarly, some openly partisan - that come to very
different conclusions both about the evidence and about
the trustworthiness of the witnesses and lawyers involved.
that are out of print might be obtained online at www.abebooks.com,
a Web site representing used bookstores across the country.
This bibliography-in-progress will become even more
comprehensive with your help. Please feel free to email
the Webmaster with any suggested titles. Browse or jump
ahead to the section which interests you:
that deal specifically with the Hiss Case, all or in part:
Andrews, Bert & Andrews, Peter, "A Tragedy of
History: A Journalist's Confidential Role in The Hiss-Chambers
Case;" Robert B. Luce, Washington D.C.: 1962.
Andrews, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New
York Herald Tribune, went from covering the case to being
a close adviser to Richard Nixon - while the story was breaking.
This is his story.
Whittaker, "Witness;" Random House, New
best-selling autobiography presents his side of the Hiss case
and tells of his tormented life. Click
here to read a review of the book by Richard Nixon's
former lawyer, Charles Alan Wright.
Fred J., "The Unfinished Story of Alger Hiss;" Morrow,
New York: 1958.
1957, Cook, a reporter for the New York World-Telegram
and Sun, specializing in crime and politics, was asked
by The Nation to look into the case. Cook, who was
predisposed toward the prosecution's side, later found himself
on the side of the defense. This book expands on his original
report for The Nation.
here for an interview with Cook.
Cooke, Alistair, "A Generation on Trial: U.S.A. v. Alger
Hiss;" Knopf, New York: 1950.
the first book on the case, is the celebrated English reporter's
firsthand account of the trials, which he covered for the
Manchester Guardian. It is, Cooke writes, "a record
of the trials of Alger Hiss, from the first accusation to
his conviction, to which I hope puzzled and fair-minded
people will turn in order to make up their minds about the
proper verdict." The book is valuable for its descriptions
of the principal characters and their conduct and testimony
at the trials.
Toledano, Ralph & Lasky, Victor, "Seeds of Treason:
The True Case of The Hiss-Chambers Tragedy;" Funk &
Wagnalls Co., New York: 1950.
is the story of the case from the perspective of two conservative,
anti-communist writers who became friends with Whittaker Chambers.
Their book was compiled with help from the FBI.
Beatrice, "Whittaker Chambers: The Discrepancy in the
Evidence of the Typewriter;" Mazzard, London: 1993.
British writer takes a new look at the evidence against Hiss.
Alger, "In the Court of Public Opinion;" Knopf,
New York: 1957.
reviewers contrasted this book, which Hiss wrote after returning
home from prison, with the highly charged feelings in Whittaker
Chambers' "Witness." Hiss, they said, had written
only a dispassionate lawyer's brief. As a brief, however,
Hiss offers a solid, thoughtful argument on his own behalf,
with a thorough analysis of Chamber's testimony, the documentary
evidence and the defense's arguments on appeal.
Alger, "Recollections of a Life;" Seaver Books, New
autobiography fills in the details of Hiss's life and
career not found in "In the Court of Public Opinion."
Of special interest is Hiss's account of the
New Deal, his work at Yalta and the early days of the United
Tony, "Laughing Last," Houghton Mifflin, Boston:
Hiss's affectionate look at his dad. This is a short biography,
written with a light touch.
View From Alger's Window: A Son's Memoir;"
Knopf, New York: 1998. (paperback edition, with a new afterword,
Vintage Books, New York: 2000)
his father's never-before-published prison letters, Hiss has
written a moving elegy to his father's memory, portraying
his father as a person not a headline.
The Earl, "The Strange Case of Alger Hiss;" Doubleday,
New York: 1953.
one of the first analyses of the case, a former Lord Chancellor
and Attorney General of Great Britain looks at it from the
time the charges appeared in the newspapers until the guilty
verdict in 1950. Jowitt raises serious questions about the
verdict and notes that, based on the evidence presented,
Hiss would never have been convicted in British courts.
Levitt, Morton and Levitt, Michael, "A Tissue of Lies,"
McGraw Hill, New York: 1979.
analysis of the case by a father-and-son team, in which the
authors argue that both Hiss and Chambers were liars.
"Secret History," self published, Brussels,
Click here to read an excerpt. Mr. Roberts can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"This Deception;" Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York:
autobiography of a woman who testified for the prosecution
at the Hiss trials that Hiss was a member of the Communist
William Howard, "Two Foolish Men: The True Story of the
Friendship Between Alger Hiss and Whittaker Chambers;"
Moorop Press Portland, Oregon: 1987.
This short book provides a character analysis of
both Hiss and Chambers, as well as bringing a common-sense
approach to Hiss case evidence.
Richard M., "Six Crises;" Doubleday, New
this, Nixon's first autobiography, the first of his six crises
is the Hiss case. Nixon points to the case as his first major
success, sending him on the road to the presidency. The book
unintentionally raised doubts about the authenticity of the
typewriter that was an important exhibit in the Hiss trials.
here to read more about the typewriter controversy.
Victor, "Unrepentant Leftist: A Lawyer's Memoir;"
University of Illinois, Urbana and Chicago: 1996.
Rabinowitz represented Hiss in his coram nobis suit filed
in 1978. He devotes a chapter of his memoir to the Hiss
case and the new evidence of Hiss's innocence found in the
release of government documents under the Freedom of Information
Act in the 1970s.
here to read more about Hiss's coram nobis suit.
William A., "Footnote on an Historic Case;" The
Nation Institute, New York: 1983.
is a line-by-line refutation of
Federal Judge Richard Owen's decision, denying Hiss's coram
nobis petition. Reuben
Owen's decision, challenging
what he sees as the judge's misrepresentation of the facts.
Reuben builds a powerful argument on Hiss's behalf that
the guilty decision should have been overturned because
of prosecutorial misconduct.
William A., "The Honorable Mr. Nixon; Action," New
book, with its tongue-in-cheek title, focuses on Richard
Nixon's role in the case as a member of the House Un-American
Activities Committee. Included also are a chronology and
excerpts from Hiss's motion for a new trial, which contains
evidence gathered after the guilty verdict.
here to read excerpts from William A. Reuben's latest book.
Ronald, "The Sleeping Truth: The Hiss-Chambers Affair
Reappraised;" Hart, London: 1968.
is a British writer with a fascination for the case. He
uses his expertise in espionage matters to offer a theory
of his own - that the KGB, looking to harm Truman, forged
the typewriter and documents while using Chambers as a pawn
for its interests.
John Chabot, "Alger Hiss: The True Story;" Holt, Rinehart
and Winston, New York: 1976.
biography and part analysis of the case, this book examines
the trial evidence and argues for Hiss's innocence. Smith,
who covered the trials as a reporter for the New York Herald
Tribune, carefully re-examines the documents placed in evidence
by the government.
here for more on the Pumpkin Papers
Robert, "The Red Plot Against America;" Bell, Drexel
early account of the case written by the House Un-American
Activities' chief investigator.
Sam, "Whittaker Chambers, A Biography;" Random House,
New York: 1997.
favorable account of Chambers' life was a National Book
Award finalist. Tanenhaus presents Chambers as one of the
most important American intellectuals of the 20th century.
Allen, "Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case;" Alfred
A. Knopf, New York: 1978.
influential book by a history professor makes use of Hiss's
defense files and concludes Hiss was guilty as charged. For
some, the book is the definitive answer to the Hiss case.
Weinstein's scholarship has been challenged by a number of
scholars and journalists, most notably by Victor
Navasky in The Nation.
G. Edward, "Alger Hiss's Looking-Glass Wars: The Covert
Life of a Spviet Spy," Oxford University Press, New York:
biography purports to explain Hiss's alleged lifelong
patterns of denial and duplicity. For a response to the
E. J., "Whittaker Chambers: The Secret Confession;"
Mazzard, London: 1993.
psycho-biography by a former British intelligence agent,
which analyzes Chambers' literary efforts for clues to his
actions and motivations in the Hiss
Meyer A., M.D. "Friendship & Fraticide: An Analysis
of Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss;" Viking, New York:
a psychoanalyst, set out to write a psychological study of
Hiss and Chambers and found himself doing his own investigations
into the case. Interviewing many of the principals, he turns
up previously unconsidered evidence. Zeligs draws parallels
between Hiss and others accused by Chambers for reasons that,
in Zeligs' analysis, were political, personal and psychological.
Re Alger Hiss," Hill and Wang, New York: 1980.
is a reproduction of Hiss's coram nobis petition, filed
in 1978, in which he asked the courts to overturn his guilty
verdict due to prosecutorial misconduct. The new information
was uncovered in government documents produced under the
Freedom of Information Act. The book includes many of the
Re Alger Hiss," Volume II, Hill and Wang, New York: 1980;
is a companion volume to the original coram nobis petition
and includes Hiss's brief in support of his original motion,
additional arguments and released government documents.
following books focus largely on the Cold War or the
McCarthy era. These
books offer valuable context and some discussion
on the Hiss case:
John J., "Advocate and Activist: Memoirs
of an American Communist Lawyer;" University of Illinois
Press, Urbana and Chicago: 1993.
Jules, "Treason in America: Disloyalty Versus Dissent";
Hawthorne Books, New York: 1971.
Sally, "Un-American Activities: A Memoir of the Fifties";
Harper Collins, New York: 1994.
Margaret, "Treason in the Twentieth Century;"
G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York: 1961
William F. & Editors of National Review, "The Committee
and Its Critics: A Calm Review of the House."
on Un-American Activities;" G.
P. Putnam's Sons, New York: 1962.
David, "The Great Fear: The Anti-Communist Purge Under
Truman and Eisenhower;" Simon and Schuster, New York:
Fred J., "The FBI Nobody Knows;" Macmillan, New
Fred J., "The Nightmare Decade: The Life and Times
of Senator Joe McCarthy;" Random House, New York: 1971.
James V., "Anti-Communism in American Life Since the
Second World War;" Forum Press, St. Charles, MI.: 1973.
Ann, "Treason: Liberal Treachery From the Cold War
to the War on Terrorism;" Crown Forum, New York: 2003.
Click here to
read an analysis of Coulter's chapter on Alger Hiss.
Griffin, "Red Scare: Memories of the American Inquisition;"
Norton, New York: 1995.
This book includes an interview with Alger Hiss.
Walter, "The Committee: The Extraordinary Career of
the House Committee on Un-American Activities;" Farrar,
Straus and Giroux, New York: 1968.
Eric F., "The Crucial Decade: America 1945-1955;"
Knopf, New York: 1956.
Joseph C., "The Best Years 1945-1950; Atheneum,"
New York: 1976.
Lillian, "Scoundrel Time;" Little, Brown &
Co., Boston: 1976.
Alger, "Yalta: Modern American Myth;" The Pocket
Book Magazine No. 3, September 1955.
Pierre J. & Carpozi, George Jr., "Red Spies in
the U.N.;" Coward-McCann, Inc., New York: 1965.
George F., "Russia and the West Under Lenin and Stalin;"
Mentor Books, New York: 1960.
Harvey, Haynes, John Earl and Firsov, Fridrikh Igorevich;
"The Secret World of American Communism;" Yale
University Press, New Haven: 1995.
authors mine newly released American and Russian documents
to assert that postwar fears of communist subversion were
well-grounded.This scholarship in this book has been questioned.
Click here to read a review
by William A. Reuben.
Feber, Walter, "America, Russia and the Cold War: 1945-1980,"
4th edition; John Weley & Sons, New York: 1967.
Herbert, "Ex-Communist Witness;" Stanford University
Press, Stanford: 1962.
Ellen, "Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America;"
Princeton University Press, Princeton: 1998.
Bud and Ruth, "It Did Happen Here: Recollections of
Political Repression in America;" University of California
oral history that includes recollections of a number of
McCarthy-era victims, and also chronicles political repression
throughout the 20th century.
Athan, ed. "Beyond the Hiss Case, the FBI, and the
Cold War;" Temple University Press, 1982.
Allen and Vassiliev, Alexander, "The Haunted Wood:
Soviet Espionage in America-The Stalin Era;" Random
Weinstein's Russian co-author had limited access
to Soviet intelligence files. Based on that information,
this book discusses covert Russian activities in the U.S.
in the 1930s and 1940s. Like Weinstein's "Perjury,"
its scholarship and methodologies have been challenged.
following books mention Alger Hiss or concern issues and
people related to the case:
Dean, "Present at the Creation: My Years in the State
Department;" W. W. Norton & Co. Inc., New York: 1969.
Gar, "The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb;" Vintage
Books, New York: 1995.
Chrisher & Gordievsky, Oleg, "KGB: The Inside Story
of Its Foreign Operations from Lenin to Gorbachev;" Harper
Collins, New York: 1990.
Adolf A., "Navigating the Rapids 1918-1971;" Harcourt
Brace Jovanovich, Inc., New York: 1973.
Brock, "Other Loyalties; A Politics of Personalities;"
Atheneum, New York: 1968.
Endowment for International Peace, Year Book, 1947,"
Washington D.C.: 1947.
Whittaker, "Cold Friday;" Random House, New York:
Whittaker, "Odyessy of a Friend: Letters to William F.
Buckley;" National Review, New York: 1969.
Edmund O., "The Witness and I;" Columbia University
Press, New York: 1975.
Fred J., "Maverick: Fifty Years of Investigative Reporting;"
Putnam, New York: 1984.
John and Tsarev, Oleg, "Deadly Illusions;" Crown
Publishers, New York: 1993.
Kenneth S., "FDR: The New Deal Years 1933-1937;"
Random House, New York: 1979.
Ovid, "The Director: An Oral Biography of J. Edgar Hoover;"
Harper's Magazine Press, New York: 1975.
John, "Blind Ambition: The White House Years;" Simon
& Schuster, New York: 1976.
Peggy, "The Autobiography of An American Communist: A
Personal View of A Political Life 1925-1975;" Lawrence
Hill & Co. and Creature Arts Book Co., Westport/Berkeley:
William O., "Go East, Young Man;" Random House,
New York: 1974.
Theodore, "The Roots of American Communism;" Viking
Press, New York: 1957.
Rupert, "Courtroom U.S.A. 2;" A Penguin Book, Baltimore:
Margaret, "No Laughing Matter: The Autobiography of a
WASP;" J. P. Lippencott Co., Philadelphia & New York:
Margaret, "The Pseudo-Ethic: A Speculation on American
Politics and Morals;" Simon and Schuster, New York: 1963.
Edward F. and McMillan, John, "Last of the Titans: The
Life and Times of Congressman: F. Edward Hebert of Louisiana;"
Center for Louisiana Studies, The University of Southwestern
Louisiana, Lafayette, LA.: 1976.
James, James B. Conant: "Harvard to Hiroshima and the
Making of the Nuclear Age;" Alfred A. Knopf, New York:
"Hearings before the Committee on Un-American Activities
House of Representatives 82nd Congress First Session, Testimony
of Oliver Edmund Clubb; March 14, August 20 & 23, 1951,"
United States Government Printing Office, Washington: 1952.
Paul, ed. "The Selected Correspondence of Kenneth Burke
and Malcolm Cowley 1915-1981;" Viking, New York: 1988.
Murray, "Rebellions, Perversities and Main Events;"
Times Books, New York: 1994.
George F., "Memoirs 1950-1963 Vol. II;" Little,
Brown & Co., Boston: 1972.
Arthur, "In The Nation: 1932-1966;" McGraw-Hill
Book Co., New York: 1966.
William M, "...And Justice For All;" Oceana Publications,
Inc. Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: 1963.
Joseph P., "From the Diaries of Felix Frankfurter;"
W. W. Norton & Co. Inc., New York: 1975.
David, "Forms of Uncertainty: Essays in Historical Criticism;"
University of Virginia, Charlottesville: 1992.
read Levin's essay on Sam Tanenhaus's Whittaker Chambers,
click here. To read his review
of Perjury, by Allen Weinstein, click
Isaac Don, "Eyewitness to History: Memoirs and Reflections
of A Foreign Correspondent for Half A Century;" Hawthorn
Books Inc., New York: 1973.
Flora, "Red Pawn: The Story of Noel Field;" Doubleday,
Garden City, NY: 1950.
Max, "The F.B.I.;" Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.,
New York: 1950.
Katie, "The Making of The New Deal;" Harvard University
Press, Cambridge: 1983.
J. Anthony, "Nightmare: The Underside of the Nixon Years;"
Viking, New York: 1973.
David S., "Dean Acheson: The State Department Years;"
Dodd, Mean & Co., New York: 1976.
Hank, "John Edgar Hoover;" David McKay Company Inc.,
New York: 1972.
William and Leighton, Frances Spatz, "Fishbait: The Memoirs
of the Congressional Doorkeeper;" Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: 1977
Anthony, "Official and Confidential: The Secret Life
of J. Edgar Hoover;" G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York: 1993.
Anthony, and Swan, Robbyn, "The Arrogance of Power: The
Secret World of Richard Nixon;" Viking, New York: 2000.
highly critical biography of Richard Nixon devotes a chapter
to re-telling the story of the Hiss case and Nixon's role
in it. Reviewing the book for the Chicago Tribune
(September 10, 2000), John W. Dean, who served as Counsel
to the President during the Nixon administration, said:
"I didn't know that Nixon stalked Alger Hiss based
on information secretly given him by the CIA and FBI, making
his pursuit of Hiss anything but bold and daring. And this
is the first book to investigate (and confirm the possible
truth of) the remark that White House aide Chuck Colson
made to me one time after talking with the president, about
someone's building a typewriter (which would have been fabricating
evidence) in the Hiss case. The authors have reopened the
debate on whether Hiss was framed." Click
here to read more about the typewriter controversy.
Doreen "Be The Judge, Be The Jury: The Alger Hiss Trial;"
Harper Collins, New York: 1993
book allows students to re-enact the trial, evaluate the
evidence and come to their own decisions.
Robert, "The Public Burning;" Viking, New York:
dark satire of post-World War II America has as its main characters
Uncle Sam, Richard Nixon, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg and Alger
Philip K., "Martian Time-Slip;" Ballantine Books,
New York: 1964.
this science-fiction novel set in the early 21st Century,
Earth settlers struggling to colonize Mars under the authority
of the United Nations have erected a statue to "Alger
Hiss, the first UN martyr."
Bob, "The Last Pumpkin Paper;" Random House, New
Hiss in Film and Video
Trials of Alger Hiss (1980), a documentary directed by
a former law professor and student of the Hiss case, blends
archival footage with original research and interviews with
Hiss and other participants to re-examine the case and the
evidence presented in court.
Enemies (1983), a public television miniseries produced
by David Elstein and Lindsay Law; written by Hugh Whitemore;
and directed by Jeff Blechman. The film starred Edward Herrmann
as Alger Hiss and John Harkin as Whittaker Chambers.
dramatization of the Hiss case, featuring Harkin's intense
portrayal of Chambers.
to the Courtroom