Chambers, Jay Vivian (Whittaker)

(1901–1961)
   One of the most controversial “witnesses” of the Cold War, “Whittaker” Chambers, author, journalist, and self-confessed Soviet spy, set off one of the most important trials in 20th-century American history. Chambers, an ardent communist, was recruited by the OGPU in the early 1930s and made part of an illegal cell responsible for espionage. In this communist underground in Washington and New York, Chambers met Alger Hiss, a rising public servant in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal administration. In the late 1930s, Chambers, after much soul searching, left the OGPU and the party and began a new life as a journalist.
   In 1939 Chambers gave a senior State Department official an affidavit naming 13 American communists in high government positions. Chambers also confessed his treachery to a number of American friends in the early 1940s. But no use was made of this information for almost a decade. In August 1948, Chambers testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee and then before several federal grand juries about the scope of Soviet intelligence in the United States. In his testimony, he identified Hiss and others as Soviet agents. Hiss denied the charges before the same committee and was later tried and convicted of perjury.
   In the last 25 years of his life, Chambers wrote in detail about his life as a Soviet agent and a communist. To many on the left, he was seen as a false witness and a despicable person who had sent an innocent man to jail. Soviet archives and intercepted NKVD intelligence messages suggest that Chambers was an accurate witness, and that his portrayal of Hiss and Soviet subversion in Washington in the 1930s and 1940s was accurate. His autobiography is now seen as one of the best books on American society and politics in the 1930s.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Whittaker Chambers — in 1948 Allegiance Soviet Union; then U.S.A. Service Communist underground controlled by …   Wikipedia

  • Whittaker Chambers — Jay Vivian „Whittaker“ Chambers (* 1. April 1901 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; † 9. Juli 1961 in Westminster, Maryland) war ein US amerikanischer Schriftsteller und Redakteur, sowie kommunistischer Agent und Informant. Er war Repräsentant des… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chambers — /chaym beuhrz/, n. 1. Robert, 1802 71, Scottish publisher and editor. 2. Robert William, 1865 1933, U.S. novelist and illustrator. 3. Whittaker (Jay David Chambers), 1901 61, U.S. journalist, Communist spy, and accuser of Alger Hiss. * * * (as… …   Universalium

  • Chambers, (David) Whittaker — (1901 1961)    Born Jay Vivian Chambers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Whittaker Chambers worked a number of different jobs under different names before enrolling at Columbia University in 1919. He left without graduating in 1923. In 1925,… …   Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era

  • Chambers, Whittaker — ▪ American journalist original name  Jay Vivian Chambers   born April 1, 1901, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. died July 9, 1961, near Westminster, Maryland  American journalist, Communist Party member (1923–38), and a principal figure in the… …   Universalium

  • Chambers, (David) Whittaker — orig. Jay Vivian Chambers born April 1, 1901, Philadelphia died July 9, 1961, near Westminster, Md., U.S. U.S. journalist and principal figure in the Alger Hiss case. He joined the Communist Party in 1923 and worked at various times as an editor… …   Universalium

  • Chambers — (as used in expressions) Chambers, (David) Whittaker Jay Vivian Chambers Chambers, Robert y William …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Chambers, (David) Whittaker — orig. Jay Vivian Chambers (1 abr. 1901, Filadelfia, EE.UU.–9 jul. 1961, cerca de Westminster, Md.). Periodista estadounidense, figura principal en el caso Alger Hiss. Ingresó al Partido Comunista en 1923 y en distintas épocas fue director de New… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • List of General Hospital characters — This is a list of characters that appear (or have appeared) on the ABC soap opera General Hospital. Contents: Top · 0–9 · A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z …   Wikipedia

  • Comté d'Autauga — (Autauga County) Localisation dans l Alabama …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.