Magazine July 9, 2012, Issue

Still Guilty

Alger Hiss in the 1950s (Library of Congress/New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection/Wikimedia)
Alger Hiss: Why He Chose Treason, by Christina Shelton (Threshold, 352 pp., $26)

It is unlikely that we ever will have a proper reckoning of the American Left’s culpability in the worldwide Communist enterprise — the gulags and laogai, the Stasi, the Holodomor, the 100 million corpses. It is a testament to the perversity of human nature that in the two main political efforts to uproot Soviet agents from U.S. institutions, the villains in the popular mind are not those who enabled the enslavement of entire nations but the imperfect men who tried to stop them. We never had a Nuremberg trial for Communists — we would have had to hang too many

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