On today's podcast
, author Richard M. Reinsch II and I discuss his new book, "Whittaker Chambers: The Spirit of a Counterrevolutionary
Chambers, of course, was a former Soviet spy, turned anti-communist, who played a pivotal role in U.S. history during the Alger Hiss case, (which helped propel Richard Nixon to national prominence).
Later, he went on to write a terrific autobiography called "Witness
," as well as to write for William F. Buckley's "National Review" magazine. For those unfamiliar with Chambers' story, this podcast is a must-listen.
Reinsch's book does more than just recount the history of Chambers, though. Chambers famously said he was "leaving the winning side for the losing side" by renouncing communism, and Reinsch argues the spiritual emptiness within the western world that worried Chambers persists. (Chambers believed that communists ironically had more
religious zeal than most Americans, because they worshiped the state.)
As Reinsch tells me, Chambers believed that "men are moved by the gods they worship." In short, Chambers' criticism is "an indictment of communism among moral, philosophical grounds -- rather than just seeing it as an economic failure."
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