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Born: April 1, 1901 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died: July 9, 1961 - Westminster, Maryland

Excerpt from Witness

Ht heart, the Great case was this critical conflict of faiths; that is why it was a great case. On a scale personal enough to be felt by all, but big enough to be symbolic, the two irreconcilable faiths of our time - Communism and Freedom - came to grips in the persons of two conscious and resolute menů Neither would nor could yield without betraying, not himself, but his faith; and the different character of these faiths was shown by the different conduct of the two men toward each other throughout the struggle. For, with dark certitude, both knew, almost from the beginning, that the Great Case could end only in the destruction of one or both of the contending figures, just as the history of our times (both men had been taught) can end only in the destruction of one or both of the contending forces."

Link to the work

Teaching Topics in Social Studies
In his youth, Whittaker Chambers was a member of the COMMUNIST PARTY, leaving its fold in 1938.
Timeline
In 1948, Chamber testified before the HOUSE UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE claiming that senior STATE DEPARTMENT official ALGER HISS was a spy for the SOVIET UNION. Hiss was later convicted of PERJURY based on testimony he had given to CONGRESS, validating in the eyes of many the charges that Hiss was a Soviet spy.
 

Teaching Topics in Language Arts
Chambers' Witness is an AUTOBIOGRAHY in which he offers himself as PROTAGONIST
Scavenger Hunt
In what year did Whittaker Chambers break from the Communist Party?
. . . answer . . .
fighting against the communist threat of the United States personified in Alger Hiss and others. Most reviewers saw the book as powerful and provocative, as Chambers argued from an IDEOLOGICAL perspective that the world was in throes of a battle between the ABSOLUTES of Communism and freedom.

Facts About Whittaker Chambers and Opinion
  • Whittaker Chambers joined the American Communist Party in 1924, resigning in 1938
  • Among jobs he held in the party were stints as editor of Communist Party newspapers New Masses and the Daily Worker
  • Because he didn't like them, Chambers changed his first names from Jay Vivian to Whittaker (his mother's maiden name) in his youth
  • Chambers graduated from Columbia University in 1924
  • From 1932 until his break from the Communist Party in 1938, Chambers was a spy for the Soviet Union
  • One of Chambers' biggest allies in Congress was then-Rep. Richard Nixon (R-Calif.)
  • After his break from the Communist party, Chambers became a writer and eventually a senior editor for Time magazine


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