HISTORICAL NOTES: The Alger Hiss Story

As Alger Hiss walked out of the Lewisburg (Pa.) federal penitentiary in December 1954—on parole after serving 44 months of a five-year sentence for perjury —he carried under his arm a package wrapped in Manila paper. Assuming that the package held his notes and papers, reporters asked if he intended to write a book. Replied Hiss: "I certainly intend to do some writing." Last fall the literary grapevine buzzed with the news that Manhattan Publisher Alfred Knopf had bought the Hiss manuscript, and the gossip columns predicted that it would be one of...

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