Aug 23, 2009
Subtitled “National Review and Its Times,” this book mentions Chambers but has so few details as to wonder why his headshot appears on the cover.
There are some interesting observations, such as:
After this May 1957 editorial there followed passionate articles by Bozell, Meyer, and Schlamm honoring the heroism of McCarthyin facing down a host of enemies and fighting the good fight. Burnham’s “Third World War” column, in this context conspicuously, avoids the subject of McCarthy altogether and discusses the kind of military organization suitable to the nuclear era. If National Review could be said at this time to be at all divided because of the hint of disagreement in the editorial just cited, what held the two sides together was a shared perception of the profound evil of communism. All saw it not as an “adversary” but as an enemy. The senior people at the magazine knew what Koestler and Orwell knew, and what Solzhenitsyn would make plain to the world in The Gulag Archipelago. Chambers, we know from Witness, had experienced the deepest pit spiritually, but he wanted to fight intelligently and pruduently, gathering allies, and he was no populist much less a populist swinging wildly. (p. 87)
Another, pithy mention:
Whittaker Chambers, on the evidence of Witness, was some kind of Kierkegaardian Protestant, his faith a chime heard in the midnight of nihilism — though he called himself a Quaker. (p. 109)