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Questions and Answers

Because the search for the truth about Alger Hiss and Whittaker Chambers is an ongoing process, "The Alger Hiss Story" Web site wil undertake its own original research projects on a regular basis. Early in 2000, Managing Editor Jeff Kisseloff interviewed two surviving Hiss case witnesses (neither of whom had testified in court) and a prominent journalist who investigated the charges against Hiss from the 1950s through the 1970s.


Was Priscilla Hiss a Spy?

Whittaker Chambers said that Priscilla Hiss was typing copies of government documents on her Woodstock typewriter at night; Elizabeth May and her husband, the Hisses' next door neighbors, said they knew the story was false. As she recalls it over 50 years later, the thin walls between their two homes kept few secrets. Click here to read an interview with Dr. May.

How Close Were Chambers and Hiss?

Whittaker Chambers said he was a regular visitor to Alger Hiss's homes on P Street and 30th Street. Hiss's stepson Dr. Timothy Hobson remembers it differently. Click here to read an interview with Dr. Hobson.

Fred Cook on Alger Hiss

As an investigative reporter, Studs Terkel said, Fred J. Cook was "as close to Lincoln Steffens as you'll find." Cook's book on the Hiss Case, "The Unfinished Story of Alger Hiss" (Morrow, 1957), was one of the first re-examinations of the evidence to take a skeptical view of Hiss's conviction.

Cook was a newspaper reporter for the New York World Telegram & Sun when he was asked by Carey McWilliams, the editor of The Nation, to look into the Hiss Case. When he began his assignment, Cook believed that Hiss was guilty but changed his mind after spending months researching the case. Now 89, Cook is retired and living in Interlaken, New Jersey. Click here to read an interview with Mr. Cook. Read the article that became the basis for his book.

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