Seventy years ago this month, a lower Manhattan courtroom provided the stage for a remarkable confrontation – much of which played out in New York – that symbolized the frustration of a nation that had recently won the Second World War but felt more insecure than ever.
The euphoria of victory had been quickly succeeded by a perception of global communism on the march. In Europe, the Soviet Union had only recently ended an 11-month blockade of Berlin and had, since 1945, rung down the Iron Curtain across Eastern Europe. In China, Mao’s communists were winning their civil war against Chiang Kai-Shek’s U.S.-backed Nationalists, who would soon flee the mainland for Taiwan. And the Soviets were about to end the U.S. monopoly on the atom bomb with a successful test explosion. [Read more…] about Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss in New York