Whittaker Chambers is one of the most controversial figures in modern American history a former Communist spy who left the party, testified against Alger Hiss before the House Un-American Activities Committee, and wrote a classic autobiography, Witness. Dismissed by some as a crank, reviled by others as a traitor, Chambers still looms as a Dostoevskian figure over three decades after his death in 1961. A man of profound pessimism, rare vision, and remarkable literary talents, his continuing importance was attested to when Ronald Reagan posthumously awarded him the Medal of Freedom in 1984.
Ghosts on the Roof, originally published in 1989, brings together more than fifty short stories, essays, articles, and reviews that originally appeared in Time, Life, National Review, Commonweal, The American Mercury, and the New Masses. Included are essays on Karl Marx, Reinhold Niebuhr, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, George Santayana, Dame Rebecca West, Ayn Rand, and Greta Garbo. These show Chambers at his best, as a peerless historian of ideas. [via]