A TRAGEDY OF HISTORY by Bert Andrews

A TRAGEDY OF HISTORY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Bert Andrews was the chief of the New York Herald Tribune Washington Bureau (he died in 1953 and his son has called this) and his book is for the most part a transcript of the long hearings involved in the Illss case. Andrews has very little to contribute on his own to the famous trial which wavered Between perjury and treason and led to discreditization. The publisher's claim that Andrews was ""In effect, a trusted confidant and participant"" is as unsubstantiated as a great many of the things that went on in this ""tragedy of history"", a hazy if attention-getting caption. His not so private intelligence of the case seems to be limited to a three hour interview with Chambers he shared with Nixon. Well, once again, from Hiss as seen by Chambers, and Chambers as seen by Hiss (i.e. the deadbeat Crosley) is the long testimony from the time when Chambers first appeared before the House Committee on American Activities, through the hearings, the libel suit, the intment. and the two trials. These annals have been previously and more fully recorded; Andrews concentrates on the Ford car and the pumpkin papers, skimps on the Woodstock typewriter and the prothory warbler. He has no opinions nor conclusions to offer- leaves it in its continuum of contradiction and supposition (to Andrews the mystery is not why illss went to jail, but how he managed to stay out for so long). This hardly seems to warrant its revival now particularly in view of the stimulating interpretaions which have appeared from Alnstair Cooke's version shortly after the proceedings to Fred Cook's more recent reexammian (1958).

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1962
Publisher: McKay-Luce