National Affairs: The Case of Alger Hiss

He was 25, an honor graduate of Johns Hopkins University and a graduate cum laude of Harvard Law School, where he had been a favorite student of Professor Felix Frankfurter. The year was 1929, and he had won the coveted apprenticeship job of law-clerking for Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. He married Priscilla Fansler Hobson, 26, a Quaker a divorcee and the mother of a three-year-old son.

In 1933, after practicing law in Boston, he got a job as an attorney in Henry Wallace's Department of Agriculture. He attracted attention by his personal charm and...

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