A Pumpkin Patch, a Typewriter, and Richard Nixon: The Hiss-Chambers Espionage Case

John W. Berresford


June 12, 2014

This is a history of one of the most famous trials in American history, as well as political scandal and a personal tragedy for the litigants. The article takes the reader through Congressional hearings in 1948, a libel suit, grand jury proceedings, two criminal jury trials, and appeals that ended only in the 1980s. The litigation strategies, evidence, legal rulings, and courtroom advocacy of both sides are examined in detail. Also described are what did not come out in the trials and the political impact of all these proceedings, as well as elite and public opinion about who was telling the truth.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 239

Keywords: libel, grand jury, perjury, trials, famous trials, jury trials, Chambers, Hiss,Whittaker Chambers, Alger Hiss, treason, Communism, espionage, HUAC, House Un-American Activities Committee, Nixon, Pumpkin Papers, Documentary, Evidence, Expert Testimony, McCarthyism

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Date posted: June 13, 2014 ; Last revised: August 24, 2014

Suggested Citation

Berresford, John W., A Pumpkin Patch, a Typewriter, and Richard Nixon: The Hiss-Chambers Espionage Case (June 12, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2449479 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2449479

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John W. Berresford (Contact Author)
Independent ( email )
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