Book Notes: And Now For Something Completely Different..
This weeks reading gets into the Alger Hiss Case. However, in setting that up, Chambers talks about his time working for Time and Life magazines. In this week and last weeks reading, Chambers mentions a few articles by name that he wrote during this time. Turns out, Time’s online archives still have these articles. I wanted to discuss two specific articles he references that I found in the archives.
The first article Chambers mentioned was his fable regarding the conference at Yalta. In The Ghosts on the Roof, Chambers uses a fictional meeting between the Muse of History and the ghosts of Nicholas II and his family to point out the danger Russia posed at the time. During World War II, some people in the United States viewed Russia as an ally, and Stalin as a great man. The article is really well written but it appeared Time was a little nervous about just how far Chambers went. This is from the introduction to Chambers article:
Since fairy tales, like more solemn reports, have their implications and their moral, TIME wishes to make it clear that it admires and respects our heroic ally, recognizes great mutuality of interests between the U.S. and the U.S.S. R. — but that in any argument between Communism and Democracy, TIME is on the side of Democracy.
I like the bold statement (ignoring the “admire and respect” comment from earlier), but I wonder if TIME would make as bold a statement today. I would highly recommend reading this article this week. It fits really well in the reading we have been covering.
The other article referenced in Witness was actually a book review. In The Devil, Chambers discusses the Christian view of the Devil. The article is a very thought provoking look at the Devil and his tools in modern times. Chambers writes in Witness that, “…the response to which astonished Life’s editors, who, like so many others, did not know that the American people is, above all, a religious people.” It’s a good article, and may have you looking for the book.
For Next Week: I want to cover up to section XX of Chapter 11. I will be out of town the following week and will skip a week of reading. Happy Halloween.