Martin Roberts’ Secret History


Martin Roberts

Secret History, a book many years in the making, scrutinizes contested verdicts and miscarriages of justice, with special emphasis on the Hiss case. Martin Roberts, an archivist and British citizen living in Belgium, began his research while still in law school. His book, called “meticulous” and “compelling” by Kirkus Reviews, offers an in-depth analysis of Whittaker Chambers’ veracity, and the first extensive, critical reappraisal of Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case. That 1978 book by Allen Weinstein (1937-2015), a Smith College history professor later appointed Archivist of the United States by President George W. Bush, reaffirmed Alger Hiss’s guilt and was nominated for a National Book Award. Roberts characterizes it as so “biased in its treatment of evidence, particularly that provided by Chambers … that it needs to be rewritten.”

Interviewed about his book in 2015, Roberts said he was “inspired by the fact that due process of law had not been observed, and that someone should get the facts straight.” Secret History’s chapter about Weinstein’s scholarship, “The Professor’s Tale: An Analysis of Professor Weinstein’s Book, Perjury,” has been included on this site with the author’s permission. Roberts writes that he welcomes comments on the case, and would be happy to “answer any questions or debate issues arising from my text” addressed to