Book Report: Alger Hiss: Why He Chose

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Alger Hiss: Why He Chose Treason

During 1948, former United States Department official Alger Hiss was a man that was accused of being a spy for the Soviet Union. Since the statute of limitations on espionage ran out, however Hiss was convicted only of what was called perjury. However, decades later -- after the Hiss trial was far from over and had been long overlooked by a lot of people -- archival evidence surfaced authorizing the charges: a public servant that had access to classified documents had indeed passed some information that was crucial information to the Soviets that went on for more than a decade.

Hiss was born in Baltimore who came from parents that were a part of the executive extensive dry goods business. His father kills himself when he is just two years old. His mother now has to rely on her inheritance and help from her patents in order to raise her five children. They moved to Baltimore and bought a shabby home (Shelton, 12). Later on, Hiss is turning out to be a high performing and a popular student. Hiss is again being hit by tragedy after tragedy. If losing his father to suicide is not enough, now his other families start to die off. He is only twenty years old and now he has to face the death of his elder brother. He watches in pain and sadness as Bosley on his bed dies of Bright's disease. Hiss is taking this and another tragedy strikes. Now his darling sister Mary Ann decides that she wants to committee suicide, just like her father (Shelton, 34). Trying to put everything behind him, Hiss moves out and decides to go to school at Baltimore City College and Johns Hopkins University. Then to everyone surprise, he was called the "most popular student" by most of his classmates and then he moves on to graduate with a Phi Beta Kappa.

The year is now 1929, Hiss now is getting his law degree from Harvard Law School. Here, Hiss becomes a pupil of Felix Frankfurter. Felix Frankfurter would soon become the future United States Supreme Court justice. Now that Hiss is at Harvard, there are a lot of things that are going on. For one, during his time at Harvard, the well-known murder trial of revolutionaries Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti become apparent, this eventually ends in their conviction and then they are both taken and executed.( Shelton, 67) Hiss knew that Frankfurter, was writing a book about the case, and now he is taking interest. Hiss maintains that Sacco and Vanzetti were sentenced unjustly.

Now, throughout the age of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, Hiss decides to become a government attorney. Then he becomes really influenced by the Sacco and Vanzetti case. For some reason Sacco and Vanzetti begins to symbolize a new transition in his life. From this point on, he develops a new passion. This new passion involves him wanting to make difference in the world because he feels things are unfair. Now it is 1933, he starts serving just a short time at the Justice Department and then decides that he wants to become a temporary associate on the Senate's Nye Agency. Here he is investigating things such as cost alleged and overruns exploiting being done by military workers throughout World War I. (Shelton, 76) during this period, Hiss makes the decision that he wants a member of the liberal legal team which is being run by Jerome Frank. Jerome Frank is defending the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) and he is doing this against challenges to its lawfulness.

On account of intense opposition from the farming industry in Arkansas, his left-wing assistants and Frank makes up the team of the future labor lawyer Lee Pressman, are all being fired. All of this is taking place during 1935 recognized as "the elimination of liberals." (Shelton, 77)Hiss is not being fired, however. Assertions that all through this epoch that he is being connected with extremists on the Food production Department's legal team are now the source of future debate.

During this time, many on the American Left are still observing Hiss iconic figure. People are looking at him as some innocent victim being accused of some unsubstantiated crimes. These people are making the choice to just stay too focused on the collectivist ideals Hiss as a man was standing for, instead of confronting the reality of a man who thoroughly and systematically let down his country (Shelton,23).

First the former United States Intelligence analyst Christina Shelton started employing some kind of an in-depth knowledge of Soviet intelligence operation in addition to releasing Hungarian and KGB archival information in order to shine a fresh light on one of the most well-known espionage cases. The analysis are going beyond exaggeration because Shelton is exploring both the ideological incentive that is going on behind Hiss's behavior and the huge influence that he is having on the U.S. foreign policy.

There are aging civil libertarians, but there are just a few and these people believe that Hiss had something to do with Chambers's schemes. All of the plots and plans are going on all through the 1930s. However, one certain source of ongoing curiosity in the nature of Hiss's accusation. Everyone on both advisors of the disagreement appear to be agreeing or coming to the point that prosecution for espionage had turned out to be impossible by the time Chambers made the decision about giving a confession to that offense and then accuses Hiss of all of it. In the meantime, there is too much time passing by; a decree of limitations starts banning the charge of espionage when three years is over. In a struggle to avoid the resolve of that decree, U.S. attorneys and so are going to make the decision to go ahead and just induce Hiss to commit his sworn renunciations of Chamber's charges.

In January, 1950 a jury at his second trial in federal court makes the decision to convict Hiss on two counts of lying. This is being done after the jury in his first trial was not coming eye-to-eye on the verdict in the first place. The convicting jury took some time but decide that Hiss is really perjuring himself. They made this decision because they did not believe him from the start. Hiss was swearing that he was not given any type of secret national brochures to Chambers, who was a secretive agent of Russia sometime during the 1930s. Hiss swore that everything was accurate because he had not even encountered Chambers beyond January 1, 1937.

Chambers swears that Hiss's contribution was not including any type of espionage. However he does defend a defamation suit that Hiss brings in autumn of 1948. Chambers was producing some film, and handwritten information scribbled on paper that reveals a lot of hidden information. This hidden information was a document that was 65 pages long. This secretive information is called the Baltimore documents. These documents are called this for the reason that the libel suit was being filed in the city of Baltimore.

However, every one of them was typed by Hiss's wife. The point he is making is that it is being typed at Hiss's request, and all of it is being done on the Hiss family's typewriter. These events are taken place sometime in 1938. Some of the most convincing proof that is going against Hiss is the testament that the Baltimore materials of the Hiss family are typed on the exact same machine. The weight of this testimony is being acknowledged by both parties as the trial is going on even though it has been confronted in current years, but furthermore being defended dynamically.

One question regarding the ongoing discussion in regards to Hiss's being guilty asks about mistakes, misrepresentations, or the indication and the events. Some of the lawyers are making the point that the there may have been some evidence not used in court to convict Hiss. The evidence would have been more proof to nail Hiss. However, the information disappeared and has not been able to be located (Shelton, 49) What happened to theses lost files? Why would a man that is guilty look for and give the court a convicting typewriter? Those who have professional interest in biographical and historical account please them likewise to take notification that both, those o believing Hiss and those that believe in Chambers are basically challenging the power of their rivals' narratives.

Just as many are questioning the agreement of placing Allen Weinstein's understanding in regards to new information, so the National Evaluation is protesting that the similar news interpretations are giving General Volkogonov's initial "release" of Hiss much more credibility and noticeable space than it merited, and that the press was very slow in broadcasting Volkogonov's point-of-view.

This kind of cautious dispute is leading a partisan or a professional to be able to shine some kind of penetrating light on mysterious facts. For instance,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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