Books: Words from the Center of Sorrow

ODYSSEY OF A FRIEND: WHITTAKER CHAMBERS' LETTERS TO WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY, JR. 1954-1961. 303 pages. Putnam. $6.95, "If the West can find no voice better than Senator McCarthy's to rally its cause, or even to lead its forlorn hope, then the West must have lost that creative virtue, the loss of which spells doom for those who have lost it . . .A distaste for Communism and socialism is not a program."

Even out of context one could swiftly establish that the Senator in question was named Joseph, not Eugene. Yet few Americans, even today,...