TIME – Reviews

TIME magazine logo from 1939

Whittaker Chambers joined TIME Magazine on April 6, 1939.

Chambers chose TIME as “cover” — public cover. There, he would work for a publication so famous that the Soviet underground would not dare touch him or his family. This followed his defection from the underground in April 1938, described in the first chapter of Witness called “Flight” (pp. 25-88).

Chambers spent the longest unbroken portion of his career at TIME. He rose from staff writer assigned to the “back of the book” (Books, Film) to editor, to senior editor. After a series of successful cover stories, following an unpopular stint as Foreign News editor, publisher Henry Luce made Chambers his “editor for special projects.” This was his position in August 1948, when HUAC served him with a subpoena to come answer their questions about Communist penetration of the Federal government.

Chambers resigned from TIME in December 1948, when it became public that he had engaged in espionage activities for the Soviets.


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