Whittaker Chambers

Whittaker Chambers


Born
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The United States
April 01, 1901

Died
July 09, 1961

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Whittaker Chambers born Jay Vivian Chambers and also known as David Whittaker, was an American writer and editor. A Communist party member and Soviet spy, he later renounced communism and became an outspoken opponent. He is best known for his testimony about the perjury and espionage of Alger Hiss.

In 1952, Chambers's book Witness was published to widespread acclaim. The book was a combination of autobiography, an account of his role in the Hiss case and a warning about the dangers of Communism and liberalism. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. called it one of the greatest of all American autobiographies, and Ronald Reagan credited the book as the inspiration behind his conversion from a New Deal Democrat to a conservative Republican. Witness was a be
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Average rating: 4.3 · 1,874 ratings · 254 reviews · 18 distinct worksSimilar authors
Witness

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4.36 avg rating — 1,559 ratings — published 1952 — 17 editions
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Cold Friday

4.29 avg rating — 21 ratings — published 1962 — 2 editions
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Odyssey of a Friend: Letter...

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3.96 avg rating — 26 ratings — published 1968 — 3 editions
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Ghosts on the Roof: Selecte...

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4.28 avg rating — 18 ratings — published 1989 — 8 editions
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Witness: Part 1

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4.44 avg rating — 9 ratings — published 1993
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Notes from the Underground:...

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 8 ratings — published 1997
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Witness: Part 2

4.40 avg rating — 5 ratings
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The Whittaker Chambers Read...

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 3 ratings
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The Crucible: Text and Crit...

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3.59 avg rating — 100 ratings — published 1971
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The Slaves Shall Serve: Med...

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4.35 avg rating — 23 ratings
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More books by Whittaker Chambers…
“Freedom is a need of the soul, and nothing else. It is in striving toward God that the soul strives continually after a condition of freedom. God alone is the inciter and guarantor of freedom. He is the only guarantor. External freedom is only an aspect of interior freedom. Political freedom, as the Western world has known it, is only a political reading of the Bible. Religion and freedom are indivisible. Without freedom the soul dies. Without the soul there is no justification for freedom. Necessity is the only ultimate justification known to the mind.”
Whittaker Chambers, Witness

“It [Communism] is not new. It is, in fact, man's second oldest faith. Its promise was whispered in the first days of the Creation under the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil: "Ye shall be as gods." It is the great alternative faith of mankind. Like all great faiths, its force derives from a simple vision. Other ages have had great visions. They have always been different versions of the same vision: the vision of God and man's relationship to God. The Communist vision is the vision of Man without God.
It is the vision of man's mind displacing God as the creative intelligence of the world. It is the vision of man's liberated mind, by the sole force of its rational intelligence, redirecting man's destiny and reorganizing man's life and the world. It is the vision of man, once more the central figure of the Creation, not because God made man in his image, but because man's mind makes him the most intelligent of the animals. Copernicus and his successors displaced man as the central fact of the universe by proving that the earth was not the central star of the universe. Communism restores man to his sovereignty by the simple method of denying God.”
Whittaker Chambers, Witness

“Yet there is one experience which most sincere ex-Communists share, whether or not they go only part way to the end of the question it poses. The daughter of a former German diplomat in Moscow was trying to explain to me why her father, who, as an enlightened modern man, had been extremely pro-Communist, had become an implacable anti-Communist. It was hard for her because, as an enlightened modern girl, she shared the Communist vision without being a Communist. But she loved her father and the irrationality of his defection embarrassed her. 'He was immensely pro-Soviet,' she said,' and then -- you will laugh at me -- but you must not laugh at my father -- and then -- one night -- in Moscow -- he heard screams. That's all. Simply one night he heard screams.'

A child of Reason and the 20th century, she knew that there is a logic of the mind. She did not know that the soul has a logic that may be more compelling than the mind's. She did not know at all that she had swept away the logic of the mind, the logic of history, the logic of politics, the myth of the 20th century, with five annihilating words: one night he heard screams.”
Whittaker Chambers, Witness

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