First published in 1952--four years after Chambers accused AlgerHiss of being a spy--this autobiography became a touchstone of the newpolitical conservatism. Once a Communist and Soviet spy himself,Chambers turned on the party after becoming disillusioned by theStalinist purges. (This was the context in which he made his famousdeclaration that "man without mysticism is a monster.") In the words ofAnn Douglas, Chambers is "one of the most controversial Americans of thelast half-century, his life a story rife with histrionic tableaux,profound ideological warfare, and high-level scandal."
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