Book Notes: The Conclusion of Witness

    This has been an incredible book, and I think it will stay with me for a long time to come.  I was amazed at how much this book was a testimony to Chambers faith.  I expected an  inside look into Communism in the United States.  I didn’t expect a description of Chambers conversion from Communism to Christianity. I think there are two messages that we | Read More »

    Book Notes: “The Lesson” from Witness

    With 50 pages left in Witness, it may be a little premature to claim to know the one lesson we should learn from this book.  There are a number of incredible themes and lessons from this book I will take with me.    However, during this week’s reading, I found what I think should be the lesson we take from this book as part of the | Read More »

    Book Notes: Chambers Witness of Faith

    I want to focus in on Chapter 12 this week.  I was really impressed by what Chambers says in this section about himself and his faith.  I also highlighted most of this section in my own copy, so I thought it was only appropriate to use it for my writing this week.  After the August 25th testimony, Chambers writes: By then, I began to grasp | Read More »

    Booknotes: Witness and the Press

    In this weeks reading, I felt there were two really interesting sections that talked about the role of the press in the Hiss Case.  I also thought these were important because we still see the press doing the same thing in today’s world. The first example occurs very early in this section.  During the August 25th hearing Hiss was able to read ten questions into | Read More »

    Book Notes: Senator Richard Nixon

    This weeks reading gets into the details of the first Hiss case.  Richard Nixon features very prominently in that story.  Chambers goes so far  as to state that without Richard Nixon and Judge Thomas Murphy, the Hiss case may not have been possible: That the committee did not act on its fears is a fact of history that no one can take from it.  Its | Read More »

    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 | Read More »

    Book Notes: A “Hard Look at the New Deal”

    “I saw that the New Deal was only superficially a reform movement.  I had to acknowledge the truth of what its more forthright protagonists, sometimes unwarily, sometimes defiantly, averred:  The New Deal was a genuine revolution, whose deepest purpose was not simply reform within existing traditions, but a basic change in the social, and above all, the power relationships within the nation.”{emphasis mine} In this | Read More »

    Book Notes: A Warning from Witness

    I am getting to this a day late, but I hope everyone had a great weekend. I am still enjoying Witness.  There is an important warning in this weeks reading.  Chambers is recounting how he explains that he  and others were so willing to engage in espionage.  He says he is often asked if people who engage in espionage suffer a “crisis of conscience”.  He | Read More »

    Book Notes: The New Deal and Washington

    I want to look at two topics we have touched on in previous book notes that reappear in this weeks reading.  Because the reading to date has largely taken place in the 1930′s, FDR’s New Deal has been touched on a number of times in the reading.  Washington, and the freedom of Communists to move in and out of the Washington circles has also been | Read More »

    Book Notes: The Child

    My daughter was in her high chair.  I was watching her eat.  She was the most miraculous thing that had ever happened in my life.  I liked to watch her even when she smeared porridge on her face or dropped it meditatively on the floor.   My eye came to rest on the delicate convolutions of her ear – those intricate, perfect ears.  The thought passed | Read More »

    Book Notes: Life in the “Apparatus”

    In this weeks reading of Witness, Whittaker Chambers joins the Communist underground.  I continue to find this book fascinating. Chambers is approached by the communist underground while working at a communist paper.  He is given the “option” of joining the underground (or “apparatus” as they refer to it).  After deciding not to join the underground, he finds out that there really isn’t an option.  He | Read More »

    Book Notes: Another Lesson from Witness

    I wanted to use this weeks reading in Witness to discuss something that continues to surprise me in this book.  As Chambers recounts his career and his joining the Communist party, I am struck by how far into America the Communist Party had gotten. Earlier in the book Chambers talks about the numerous federal offices that had Communist party members working in it.  Some of | Read More »

    Book Notes: Why a Communist?

    For this weeks book notes, I covered up to chapter Four of Witness.  I want to focus in on the third chapter.  I thought this chapter was very interesting because Chambers explains why people become communists and why he became a communist.  Some of the reasons are still out there today.  While we don’t think of Communism as a threat in today’s world (we are | Read More »

    Red State Book Notes: A Life Lesson

    I came across an interesting section of this weeks reading that I think has a life lesson in it.  in this section, Whittaker Chambers is recounting a story from his youth.  He talks about having an,”…old, wet-eyed female dog,” that used to follow him around when he was running errands.  One day, a schoolmate comes across Whittaker while he is out.  The schoolmate kicks this | Read More »

    Red State Book Notes:

    I have been very impressed with the first chapter of Witness.  I wish I had been exposed to this book in high school.  So far, this book has been a very powerful testimony to both Mr. Chambers conversion, and to the evil’s of communism. There have been a number of passages that have really touched me, and repeating them here would take too much space.  | Read More »