Across the abyss of a dozen years, Alger and Priscilla Hiss made their careful and precise defense to the accusations of Whittaker and Esther Chambers. Step by step, four quiet, middle-aged people were drawing near the climax of their tragedy.

They approached it amidst no new sensational disclosures. Instead, the trial in a Manhattan Federal Court took a quieter, tenser turn. FBI agents, in endless search, had followed countless trails from New York to Washington to Baltimore. They had dug through old files, turning up bills of sale, bank accounts, letters—even the...

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