The View from Alger's Window is Tony Hiss's remarkable memoir of the trial and imprisonment of one of the most famous victims of the Cold War witch-hunts: his father. Tony Hiss was seven years old when Whittaker Chambers first accused Alger Hiss of passing secrets to the Russians. For the rest of his childhood, Tony and his family experienced the cruelties and intimidations of the time.
Drawing on hundreds of letters Alger sent from prison, the author counters public perceptions of Hiss and shows the fundamental decency and essential goodness of his father and, along the way, draws a compelling portrait of an innocent man. At the same time he lets us see how adversity drew this father and son together, allowing them to achieve a closeness they might never have been able to otherwise.
Beautifully written, wise, The View from Alger's Window sheds new light on a family, a time, an accusation, and a man whose guilt or innocence continues to inspire debate.
About the Author
Hiss was born in Washingron, D.C. and grew there and in New York City. He is currently a visiting scholar at the Taub Urban Research Center at New York University, and writes and lectures frequently about man in the enironment.
William H. Whyte (1917-1999) was editor of Fortune magazine and Distinguished Professor at Hunter College of the City University of New York. He was the author numerous books on social and environmental analysis, including City: Rediscovering the Center and The Organization Man, which is available from the University of Pennsylvania Press. Tony Hiss, former staff writer for the New Yorker, is a visiting scholar at the Taub Urban Research Center, New York University. He is the author of The Experience of Place.
"A loving, beautifully written tribute by a son to a father who suffered and, in spirit, prevailed." --The Atlanta Journal-Consitution
"In this intimate and appreciative memoir, Tony Hiss . . . has achieved what must surely have been his boyhood dream: to free his father from history's
imprisonment." --The Boston Globe
"Poignant, wonderfully written and deeply troubling. . . . A haunting record." --The New York Times
"[A] tender hagiography . . . heartbreakingly sweet." --Time