and his wife separated in 1959. He continued to assert his
innocence, and over the years evidence surfaced to back
his claim, including some 40,000 pages of FBI documents
released to him in the 1970s. Based on information in the
documents which indicated that the FBI hid evidence that
would have helped clear him, Hiss filed a petition of coram
nobis, asking that the verdict be overturned due to prosecutorial
misconduct. The petition was turned down in Federal Court.
Appeals were unsuccessful. In
1975, however, to his enormous personal satisfaction, Hiss
was readmitted to the
married his second wife, Isabel Johnson, in 1986. Two years
later, he wrote his autobiography, "Recollections of
a Life." His grandson, Jacob Hiss, was born in 1991.
Alger Hiss died at the age of 92 on Nov. 15, 1996, still
fighting for vindication.
do friends and supporters have to say about Alger Hiss?
Click here to find out.
Hiss in 1957
the photo album to see
images of Alger Hiss drawn from throughout his life.
Own Words: Interviews With Alger Hiss and His Own Writings
1951 and 1954, Alger Hiss poured forth many of his deepest
reflections on life, literature, art, politics, nature,
human nature, and the state of the world in the hundreds
of letters he wrote home from prison to his wife and young
son. Extracts from dozens of these previously unpublished
letters, which also include the games, puzzles, and stories
he created for his son, form the core of "The View
from Alger's Window," Tony Hiss's 1999 memoir about
his father. Click
here for further information on this book.
the late 1960s and early 1970s, Alger Hiss began working
on a history of the New Deal. The book was never completed.
Among his notes for the book, however, was this remarkable
essay on his own political journey that was intended to
serve as the book's introduction. This piece, which is of
major historical importance, tells not only Hiss's personal
story, but in a larger sense it speaks for a whole generation
of Americans who joined or supported the New Deal and its
values. Click here
to read Alger Hiss's "Liberal Manifesto."
1974, Alger Hiss was interviewed by James Day for the public
television series Day At Night. Click
here to read the transcript of this wide-ranging
interview which, among other things, reveals Hiss's long-held
faith in democracy as inspired by Justice Oliver Wendell
1978, Alger Hiss was interviewed by Judah and Alice V. Graubart
for their oral history of the 1930s, "Decade of Destiny"
(Contemporary Books). Click here
to read Hiss's recollections of the New Deal and of the
1930s, a decade that was crucial to Hiss's life and career.
1980, as tension ran high in America with the presidential
elections playing out over the long running Iranian hostage
crisis, Alger Hiss took a look back at the McCarthy period
for Barrister magazine, a publication of the American
Bar Association. Hiss examines the roots of witch hunting
and addresses the question, "Could it happen again?"
Click here to read the
one of the last surviving participants in the Yalta
and a lightning rod for criticism aimed at FDR's foreign
policies, Hiss made a point of defending the agreements
between the U.S. and Russia at Yalta in 1945. Click
here to read his article, "Yalta:
Modern American Myth," which
appeared in The Pocket Book Magazine in 1955. Click
here to read a brief article on Yalta he wrote
The Nation in 1982.
Hiss was frequently accused of secretly having secretly
forged a pro-Soviet policy at Yalta. In fact, Hiss argued
for a tough anti-Soviet stance, as this story based on Hiss's
notes from the conference indicates. Click
here to read the article, as it appeared in The
New York Times when the notes were released in 1955.
a lengthy, candid 1978 interview for The Advocate,
a news publication of the Suffolk University Law School
in Boston, Alger Hiss discussed his coram nobis petition
and other legal aspects of his case. Click
here to read the interview.
months before Whittaker Chambers made his first public
charges that Alger Hiss had been, and perhaps still was,
a Communist, Hiss wrote an influential article for The
New York Times Sunday Magazine on behalf of the
Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe. Because
the Soviets strongly opposed the plan, this article was
presented at Hiss's second perjury trial as evidence
of his clear anti-communist leanings. More than a half
century later, the article provides insight into Hiss's
political thinking and his strong humanitarianism. Click
here to read the article and an introduction
by the editors of this site.
Richard Nixon wrote about his "Six Crises" in his 1962
autobiography. Eleven years later during the Watergate
hearings, Alger Hiss followed with "My Six Parallels," an article for The New York Times op ed page.
Courtesy of the United Nations is this wide-ranging 1990 interview with Alger Hiss about the organization's formative events he participated in and the people he knew. Click here to download the interview.
Hiss corresponded with thousands of people during his life.
His correspondents ran the gamut from prominent government
officials, journalists and literary and academic figures
to relatives, students, researchers ex-convicts, friends
and enemies. The letters, to-and-from Hiss, provide a unique
window onto his life and character.
section will be updated regularly. Readers' contributions
are welcome. Anyone willing to provide copies of Hiss's
letters should contact the site at firstname.lastname@example.org
here to read Alger Hiss's correspondence.
Hiss: As the Press Saw Him
1960, journalist Brock Brower wrote an in-depth account
of Alger Hiss's post-prison life and career for Esquire
magazine. Click here
to read his article.
here to enter the Courtroom!