The Alger Hiss-Whittaker Chambers hassle is fictionally warmed over by Messrs. Garbo & Goodkind, and lightly paprikaed with...

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The Alger Hiss-Whittaker Chambers hassle is fictionally warmed over by Messrs. Garbo & Goodkind, and lightly paprikaed with McCarthy era hysteria. News analyst Justin Blaine, a pudgy ex-Communist with a bad heart, is called before the Subversive Activities Committee and issues a statement that Webster Evers, current Under Secretary of State, had worked with him as a foreign agent. Blaine had, in fact, enlisted Evers in the Party as his protege. He has in his possession some microfilm of a top secret report Evers delivered to Blaine's wife in the late Thirties (an incident parallel to Chambers' famous Pumpkin Papers). But then, Blaine had been known as Bob Baker and he and his wife had defected from the Party when Stalin signed his nonaggression pact with Hitler. Evers today denies everything; after all, he may be the next Secretary of State. The two men are set for a confrontation before the committee and fifty million TViewers. Meanwhile, the authors inject in the plot the life-histories of Blaine and Evers and flashbacks of spying, hiding out, and even of Evers seducing Blaine's wife. The Blaine-Chambers character has a queer mixture of honesty and evasiveness: we remember about Chambers, while Evers has more of the reptilian brilliance seen in Laurence Harvey than Alger Hiss. The dialogue is generally painful and the confrontation scene is so phony it lacks all the intensity of the original.

Pub Date: May 11, 1966

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1966