Whittaker Chambers by Sam Tanenhaus
Whittaker Chambers (along with his friend William F. Buckley, Jr.) was a crucial avatar of the modern right. The forces are all here, embodied to one degree or another within Chambers himself: religion, a tragic sensibility, a fear of centralized control, and a Manichean view of good versus evil.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
One of my favorite book bloggers, My Friend Amy, issued a challenge to her fellow book bloggers. Apparently, Newsweek has issued a list of 50 Books for Our Times. My Friend Amy feels this list is, in her word, "strange" and needed another opinion. Well, make that 50 opinions -- one (or more) book blogger's opinion for each book on the list. I have this freaky thing called pride, so I can't ignore a challenge when one is issued. I couldn't help myself. There was only one problem -- which book to choose? There were only three books left unclaimed by the time I made the decision to take on the challenge: City, Rediscovering the Center by William H. White; Whittaker Chambers by Sam Tanenhaus; and American Journeys by Don Watson. Knowing nothing of any of these three books, I chose Whittaker Chambers by Sam Tanenhaus. It's the Fourth of July, I'm feeling patriotic, and Whittaker Chambers was, in the words of William F. Buckley, Jr., "the most important American defector from Communism." Sounds like an interesting read. Does anyone want to join me?
From the Newsweek article: