Lewis Hartshorn’s Alger Hiss


Lewis Hartshorn

Although 4,800 pages of Hiss case grand-jury testimony were made public in 1999, Lewis Hartshorn’s Alger Hiss, Whittaker Chambers and the Case That Ignited McCarthyism, published in 2013 and years in the making, is the first Hiss-case book to make extensive use of these documents. In an immersive and exhaustive study of the evidence, from the pre-indictment phase of the case that unfolded over the summer and fall of 1948, Hartshorn, an independent scholar based in Texas, uses Chambers’ own words before the grand jury (and what he also told HUAC at that time) to suggest that the inconsistencies in his stories were so frequent and profound they render his testimony “completely fraudulent.” The Alger Hiss chapter about Chambers’ break from communism, “Saint Whittaker” – which also references Hartshorn’s ground-breaking discovery of key Hiss-case notes thought lost for years – has been included on this site with the author’s permission.