The View from Alger's Window: A Son's Memoir

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Using his father's letters from prison - three a week, two pages long, were allowed - and other family letters never before made public, as well as the recollections of friends and relatives, Tony Hiss moves back and forth in time to tell the story of Alger Hiss's life, and of his own experience as a young boy swept up in the turmoil of the trial that signaled the opening of the Cold War. For the first time we meet the man his family and friends knew as warm and witty, honest to a fault, intellectually searching, and enormously giving to those he loved. For the first time, too, we hear from Alger's stepson, Timothy Holsson, a boy of ten in the thirties when the disputed events occurred, who tells his side of the story.

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The view from Alger's window: a son's memoir

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Fifty years ago, the Hiss case transfixed the country and launched the political career of Richard Nixon. Whether or not Alger Hiss was a spy has been the subject of numerous books, but beginning with ... Read full review


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About the author (1999)

Tony Hiss is the author of nine previous books, including the award-winning The Experience of Place. He began writing for The New Yorker in 1963, and his work has appeared in many other publications, including the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly, and Gourmet. He is a Visiting Scholar at the Taub Urban Research Center at New York University, and he lectures frequently about how people are affected by their physical environment.

He and his wife and son live in New York City.

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