Whittaker Chambers’ harrowing account of his journey to hell and back—through espionage, treason, and terror—is, ultimately, a story of faith.
First published in 1952, Witness came on the heels of America’s trial of the century, in which Whittaker Chambers accused Alger Hiss, a full-standing member of the political establishment, of spying for the Soviet Union. In this penetrating philosophical memoir, Chambers recounts the famous case as well as his own experiences as a Communist agent in the United States, his later renunciation of Communism, and his conversion to Christianity. Chambers’ worldview—“man without mysticism is a monster”—helped to make political conservatism a national force. Witness packs the emotional wallop and the literary power of a classic Russian novel and has gained Chambers recognition by critics on both sides of the spectrum as a truly gifted writer.
Witness is part spiritual autobiography, part spy thriller, and part trial drama, told in a compellingly eloquent, deeply moving voice of Dostoyevskian power.
Not To Be Cliche...But......
This book is one of those few that can, "change your life." Whittaker Chambers story is compelling and profound. It reads like Greek tragedy and tragedy it is. But it is also a tale of redemption and return. For those who still hold any doubt as to Chambers as a truth teller with regard to Hiss's guilt are either hard of heart or hearing. This audio version is a great reading that I have listened to many times and never cease to be moved by. If it touches you my next suggestion would be to follow it up with Sam Tanenhaus's Whittaker Chambers: A Biography which tells the life story and beyond the writing of Witness until Chambers death in 1961. Not to be too cliche, but, the book is a classic and Chambers was a special man of a kind we have too few of today.