About This Site
“The Alger Hiss Story” website was created in 2001 with grants from The Nation Institute as the online presentation of the case for the defense of Alger Hiss (1904-1996), who was said to have been a Russian spy while part of the New Deal administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. When still only 40, Hiss served as the Secretary General of the 1945 United Nations organizing conference. His federal trial near the beginning of the Cold War generated front-page headlines for years and was widely called “the trial of the century.” The case launched the career of Richard M. Nixon, who became president 20 years later, and gave Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy’s notorious “Red Scare” investigations their start. Hiss’s 1950 perjury conviction has remained highly controversial ever since. He devoted the rest of his life to seeking vindication, an effort which continues today.
The original version of “The Alger Hiss Story” attracted almost a quarter million visits over 15 years, before being replaced by the current 2.0 version, which offers a more user-friendly, easily searchable format and incorporates page-by-page revisions that reflect the wealth of new information still coming to light about the Hiss case and about Alger Hiss himself, including the memories of many friends, his accomplishments as a New Dealer, and his high hopes for the U.N. We welcome all comments on the expanded website and suggestions for further additions.
The creator and managing editor of “The Alger Hiss Story” is Jeff Kisseloff, an investigative reporter who is the author of Swamped: Alger Hiss and the Tide of History, an authoritative book on the Hiss case more than a dozen years in the making. Kisseloff first worked with Alger Hiss in the 1970s, when Hiss was getting ready to return to court to challenge his conviction. Executive editor Margot Witty and designer Bruno Navasky guided the recent website revision; Lois Metzger served as copy editor; and Tony Hiss was a consultant on the project. Inspiration for the both versions of the website – the original one and its 2.0 replacement – came from Agnese Nelms Haury, of Tucson, Arizona. The new site is dedicated to her memory.