What Chambers Can Teach Us
Whittaker Chambers is rightly remembered for his pivotal role in the electrifying Alger Hiss spy case. But as Richard Reinsch reminds us in the latest volume in ISI Books' acclaimed Library of Modern Thinkers, Chambers was more than just a government informant; he was a profoundly important thinker who grappled with the nature of modern man’s predicaments.
Whittaker Chambers: The Spirit of a Counterrevolutionary shows that Chambers’s thought posed—and still poses—a challenge to American conservatism and its typical focus on markets and small government. In his journalism, essays, personal correspondence with the likes of William F. Buckley Jr., and landmark autobiographical tome Witness, Chambers engaged more broadly, analyzing the fundamental question of who man is and the classical and spiritual foundations of civilization.
Defying conventional thinking, Reinsch argues that the former Communist spy may have been more right than wrong when he predicted that the West would lose the Cold War. While the Soviets' Communist system did of course collapse, the spiritual and philosophical sickness that Chambers identified, Reinsch suggests, has not been cured.
|What They're Saying...||
"It’s taken over 60 years, but someone has finally written a great book about Whittaker Chambers."
“A solid merit to Reinsch’s short study is to suggest the many ways in which Chambers still speaks to us with relevance and urgency…Reinsch’s book is a thoughtful probe of Chambers thought and work…Chambers is above all a prophet of how, even in apparent victory, the West may fail in its true struggle by emulating Communism on every point…A fine study that will challenge and inform.”
"A gap existed that needed to be filled. Richard Reinsch’s Whittaker Chambers: The Spirit of a Counterrevolutionary is an admirable candidate for addressing that gap….Chambers’s message…still rings true for today. Now, thanks to Richard Reinsch’s insightful analysis of that message, Chambers may reach a new generation.”
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