Proving A Negative

A Russian official finds no evidence that Alger Hiss was a spy

OF ALL THE COLD WAR MYSTERIES, NONE WAS AS perplexing as the espionage case against Alger Hiss. A former State Department official, he was accused in 1948 of spying for the Soviets, tried before a House committee led by Congressman Richard Nixon, and served a four-year term for perjury. Yet he has staunchly maintained his innocence, even in the face of microfilm evidence produced by former TIME editor Whittaker Chambers. Now comes word from an unlikely but authoritative source that Hiss, 87, may not have spied. After researching "a great amount of materials," General Dmitri Volkogonov, chairman of the Russian government's...

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