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Whittaker Chambers
Program Video Clip List
Clip # Start Time End Time Description
1 00:18.0 0:57.9 Clip from Alger Hiss hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee
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2 00:58.8 03:06.0 Significance of pumpkin patch, in December 1948 where Chambers had hidden documentary evidence of Hiss' work as a communist
3 03:40.0 04:40.2 Site of farm where he wrote his autobiography, Witness; farm is a national historic site because of Reagan's admiration for Chambers
4 04:56.5 06:48.1 House Canon Office Building confrontation; Nixon's role as a member of the committee and a supporter of Chambers
5 06:48.2 08:01.1 Historical background of the hearings; Truman was president and ordered legislators back to Congress to pass stalled legislation. They retaliated by forming HUAC.
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6 08:01.2 09:00.0 What Whittaker Chambers was doing in 1948; Family involvement
7 09:00.1 10:09.4 Chambers testifying about his work for the Communist Party; some explanation about the two publications, The Daily Worker and New Masses
8 10:09.5 11:03.5 Chambers' hometown; some of the circumstances within which he chose to become a Communist
9 11:48.3 12:48.6 Chambers did not lead a public life, like other more well known anti-Communisits; the farm
10 12:53.3 14:02.5 The Chambers and Hiss families were both Quaker (as was Richard Nixon's)
11 14:39.7 15:32.0 Hiss testifying before the committee
12 15:32.0 16:19.3 More about Alger Hiss and how he and Chambers met; their colleges
13 16:19.4 17.42.2 Priscilla Hiss, Alger Hiss' wife
14 18:01.2 18:58.7 Hiss' role as a founder of the United Nations; why Hiss was "targeted"
15 18:58.8 19:39.2 Negative review of Ayn Rand's book; Chambers "wrote her out" of the conservative movement
16 19:39.2 20:21.3 Connection to Walter Lippmann
17 20:27.3 21:46.1 Adolph Burleigh, intelligence liason, did not act on Chambers information in 1939
18 21:46.1 22:24.9 How Hiss and Chambers worked together within the Communist Party apparatus
19 22:24.9 23:42.3 What the "pumpkin papers" contained; significance of obtaining the diplomatic codes
20 23:42.3 24:33.3 More about the writing and publication of Witness
21 25:19.1 26:34.1 Chambers philosophies on what it meant to be "on the right" and also, pacifism
22 26:34.2 29:36.5 Nixon on Whittaker Chambers; significance of his experience as a Communist; student of his philosophy and spirituality of fight against Communism
23 29:50.9 32:34.1 Chambers as a defender of Hiss; Tony Hiss on Chambers' attack on his father; Hiss' defense against Chambers
24 33:58.8 35:01.0 The quality of Chambers work as a writer, philosopher
25 35:09.3 36:44.9 Evocative passage from forward of Witness; fight against Communism was about the spiritual thrust of human beings
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26 37:30.1 40:37.0 Introduction of and designation of Chambers farm as a National Historic Site
27 40:37.1 41:24.5 Spies versus people who "pass information"
28 41:24.6 42:19.4 Reagan's admiration of Chambers
29 44:44.2 46:24.5 How the story was portrayed by the media
30 46:24.6 48:33.0 Truman's views of Chambers and Hiss at first and then after the evidence was revealed; also Elizabeth Bentley
31 49:11.8 51:47.3 More about The Daily Worker and the New Masses; the committed kept clippings from them; that's how they learned about Chambers and his radical writing
32 52:08.6 53:28.7 Comparison to Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings
33 53:28.7 56:56.5 Committee hearing clip about subletting a lease, buying a car; clip illustrates level of detail/evidence the committee was dealing with; this was the "trial of the century"
34 58:07.6 59:25.0 The dangers of leaving the Communist Party; he was being followed by the KGB; reading of excerpt from letter to children on what his legacy to them will be
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35 59:29.9 1:01:28 Attraction to Russia and the Communist party-an alternative to and "salvation" from capitalism in America
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36 1:02:20 1:03:34 The punishment Hiss received and more on the climate in Russia at the time
37 1:03:40 1:06:09 Review of the events that took place in the Canon committee room: whether or not there was a Communist conspiracy to take over the U.S. government; hope for a post-World War II internationalist view; overview of hearings
38 1:07:55 1:08:30 Death and burial of Chambers
39 1:08:28 1:11:02 More on the nature of espionage; what it meant to be passing information to Russia
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40 1:11:02 1:13:38 Clip from hearings; Hiss explaining how Chambers first posed as a freelance writer when coming to his office; cat and mouse game
41 1:14:17 1:16:43 More on the nature of the relationship with the Soviet Union; level of trust from various presidents and policy makers; Hiss was on the left of these
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42 1:16:43 1:19:46 Richard Nixon's role, speech before grand jury
43 1:20:13 1:21:45 Media portrayal and popular beliefs about the case; is there a hero and a villian?
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44 1:24:46 1:23:44 How the "left" views Hiss today; also the wives or other women within the Communist movement
45 1:24:55 1:26:21 Legal bills and procedures
46 1:26:22 1:28:25 What happened to Hiss after release from prison
47 1:28:26 1:30:21 The Hiss case and revisionist history; how Soviet archives have informed the case; evaluating the significance of Hiss' actions, Nixon's role have become the bigger questions now
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48 1:30:27 1:32:15 New laws regarding espionage that came into play after the Hiss case; he could not be charged with espionage
49 1:32:15 1:33:46 Harry Dexter White
50 1:35:03 1:36:55 U.S. evolving relationship with Soviet Untion-starting in 1933. Ally in 41-45
51 1:36:55 1:37:47 Hiss may never have been a member of Communist Party; aid to Soviets was a fight against fascism
52 1:37:47 1:39:54 Violation of agreement between US and USSR about detaining Americans
53 1:39:55 1:42:43 Treatment of homosexuality
54 1:43:10 1:44:44 Clip from hearings: Chamber describing how he feels about Hiss
55 1:44:47 1:46:14 Why some on the committee were dubious of the conviction
56 1:46:14 1:50:01 Other international relations, with Japan and China
57 1:51:32 1:52:51 Significance of the microfilm extracted from the pumpkin: created an American politics. Made Chambers a hero to American right. Drama of the hearings.
58 1:53:08 1:54:17 Significance of Canon conference room. Other impact of the case-Nixon's rise; the book, Witness

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