Alger Hiss

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Alger Hiss
BirthplaceBaltimore, Maryland, United States
EducationBaltimore City College high school Johns Hopkins University Harvard Law School

Hiss, Alger

(ăl`jər), 1904–96, American public official, b. Baltimore. After serving (1929–30) as secretary to Justice Oliver Wendell HolmesHolmes, Oliver Wendell,
1841–1935, American jurist, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1902–32), b. Boston; son of the writer Oliver Wendell Holmes.
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, Hiss practiced law in Boston and New York City. He then was attached to the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (1933–35) and to the Dept. of Justice (1935–36). He entered the Dept. of State in 1936 and rose rapidly to become an adviser at various international conferences and a coordinator of American foreign policy. In 1947, he resigned his government post to become president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In Aug., 1948, Whittaker ChambersChambers, Whittaker,
1901–61, U.S. journalist and spy, b. Philadelphia. He joined the U.S. Communist party in 1925 and wrote for its newspaper before engaging (1935–38) in espionage for the USSR. He left the party in 1939 and began working for Time magazine.
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, a magazine editor and former Communist party courier, accused Hiss of having helped transmit confidential government documents to the Russians. Hiss denied these charges; since, under the statute of limitations, he could not be tried for espionage, he was indicted (Dec., 1948) on two counts of perjury. When he was first brought to trial in 1949, the jury was unable to reach a decision. At a second trial Hiss was found guilty (Jan., 1950) and sentenced to a five-year prison term. His trial created great controversy; many believed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had tampered with evidence in order to secure a conviction. Hiss was released from prison in Nov., 1954, his term shortened for good conduct. In 1957 he wrote In the Court of Public Opinion, in which he denied all charges against him. Hiss maintained his innocence to his death; Soviet files made public in 1995 convinced most observers that he had been guilty, but controversy lingers.


See W. Chambers, Witness (1952, repr. 1983); R. Seth, The Sleeping Truth: The Hiss-Chambers Affair Reappraised (1968); A. Weinstein, Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case (1978).

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Hiss, Alger (1904–)

imprisoned for perjury during espionage hearings. [Am. Hist.: NCE, 1247]
See: Perjury
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Hiss, Alger

(1904–  ) lawyer, government official; born in Baltimore, Md. A lawyer who had clerked with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, he went to work for President Roosevelt's New Deal, eventually joining the State Department. He rose rapidly in the State Department (1936–45), going with President Roosevelt to Yalta. He was President of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace (1945–49) when Whittaker Chambers accused him of having been a spy for the Russians. Convicted of perjury in 1950, he went to prison for four years, writing and lecturing in his own defense afterward. In 1992 a Russian with access to Soviet files announced that Hiss had never been a Soviet agent, but this seemed unlikely to put a complete end to the controversy that had surrounded Hiss since 1948.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
The third Alger Hiss, according to Tony, was the creation of Chambers, the man who claimed intimate friendship with Alger in the thirties.
The charges against Alger Hiss, for example, still rest primarily on the stories of Whittaker Chambers.
A novelist's characters--Emma Goldman, Sacco and Vanzetti, Alger Hiss, Lee Harvey Oswald--troop by reduced to memo size.
That's what Nixon hated about Alger Hiss. As Robert Stripling, HUAC's chief investigator later said, "Nixon had set his hat for Hiss.
(The State Department, even with Alger Hiss in its senior echelon, had nothing to do with the cancellation.) Trotsky commented that since he had explained, through his lawyer, Albert Goldman, "that my political aims of course had nothing in common with the reactionary political aims of Mr.
At the Carnegie Endowment, for example, foundation president Alger Hiss was shoveling money to Marxists and one-worlders of every stripe, especially to those promoting the United Nations.
To emphasize the threat of Communists in government from the Eastern Establishment elite, there was the Alger Hiss case.
Those founders included Soviet dictator/mass murderer Joseph Stalin, Soviet agent Alger Hiss, megalomaniac President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and a bevy of America-hating New Deal Communists and socialists.
Here is Alfred Kazin twenty years ago, on the original 1978 Knopf edition: "It is impossible to imagine anything new in the case except an admission by Alger Hiss." Other hyperbolic kudos follows from an impressive and ideologically motley crew of reviewers: Irving Howe, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Garry Wills, John Kenneth Galbraith, George Will, Walter Goodman, Murray Kempton, Merle Miller, William F.
Those intercepted communications, known as the "Venona" documents, proved irrefutably that the Soviet intelligence network included such top government officials as Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White, and Harry Hopkins, as well as nuclear scientist J.
One of the more infamous Communist Party members who betrayed America as a Soviet spy was Alger Hiss. Christina Shelton wrote in Alger Hiss: Why He Chose Treason that Soviet intelligence sources during World War II "obtained information from nearly 70 American ministries, departments, directorates, committees, and subcommittees in the governmental structure of the United States." In his book The Naked Communist, W.
If you regarded Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs, and the Hollywood Ten as something other than Stalinists, then Russians hacking private email accounts, buying internet ads, and fomenting division in 2016 necessarily comes across as terribly alarming rather than in keeping with a longstanding pattern.