Although I consider myself political, or politically inclined, I don't read as much non-fiction, history or biography as I do fiction.
However, this review, which I find jumbled and confusing, about a new Alger Hiss book caught my attention.
I find it interesting for two reasons: one it is more than 60 years later and we are still debating the same jumble that was the Hiss-Chambers case, but two because I had the opportunity to briefly meet Mr. Hiss in the 60s.
I was working at the New York Academy of Medicine, probably scribbling away on a manuscript or plotting my next series of medical symposia.
And in walks, after a brief knock on my office door, this middle-aged, extremely attractive man. He offered me his hand, told me who had sent him to me, and gave me his card.
What was he doing?
He was selling stationary!
I was half his age and blissfully ignorant until later that night when his name and reputation came together.
Did I buy stationary from him? I can't remember.
I do remember that he was charming, and well mannered.
But my observations of his manners probably don't measure up to much in the way of edification of his role in anti-American behavior. However, I gather that Susan Jacoby's book doesn't necessarily make it all that clear, either.