Alger Hiss

* Martin Walker (“A Loss of Convictions Since Hiss,” Opinion, Nov. 24) quotes me accurately as saying, “It’s what exactly he [Hiss] was guilty of that still confuses me.” But lest there by any misunderstanding, as readers of my essay in this week’s Nation will know, I do not believe that Alger Hiss was guilty of espionage, treason or spying. What I do believe is that in the overheated and intolerant atmosphere of the Cold War, Hiss, like other idealistic left-liberals of the period, may have--for better or worse--told less than the whole truth about his social, political, and/or personal activities in the period preceding it.

Nevertheless I suspect that when, if ever, the complete and in-context story is known, Hiss will emerge looking a lot better than his accusers.


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