Acton Institute Powerblog

Still Witnessing: Richard Reinsch on Whittaker Chambers

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Richard Reinsch II has an excellent condensed summary of his book Whittaker Chambers: The Spirit of a Counterrevolutionary over at the Heritage Foundation. I really cannot praise Reinsch’s account enough. It is perhaps the best book I read in 2010.

I reviewed the book on the PowerBlog and in Religion & Liberty. We also featured Whittaker Chambers as the “In The Liberal Tradition” figure in the last issue of Religion & Liberty. In the write up, we included the citation to the 1984 Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously awarded to Chambers by President Ronald Reagan. The citation reads:

At a critical moment in our Nation’s history, Whittaker Chambers stood alone against the brooding terrors of our age. Consummate intellectual, writer of moving majestic prose, and witness to the truth, he became the focus of a momentous controversy in American history that symbolized our century’s epic struggle between freedom and totalitarianism, a controversy in which the solitary figure of Whittaker Chambers personified the mystery of human redemption in the face of evil and suffering. As long as humanity speaks of virtue and dreams of freedom, the life and writings of Whittaker Chambers will ennoble and inspire. The words of Arthur Koestler are his epitaph: ‘The witness is gone; the testimony will stand.’

I encourage you to read Reinch’s summary. It is a fitting and informative tribute to one of the great minds of the 20th century.

Ray Nothstine is opinion editor of the the North State Journal in Raleigh, North Carolina. Previously, he was managing editor of Acton Institute's Religion & Liberty quarterly. In 2005 Ray graduated with a Master of Divinity (M.Div) degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky. He also holds a B.A. in Political Science from The University of Mississippi in Oxford.


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  • Some alternative viewpoints on this publication, from The New Criterion:

    “He heard the screams,” by Gary Saul Morson (November 2010):

    “Muffled—or strangled?” by David Chambers (January 2011):–6775

  • Stacy Brown

    Read David Chambers suggestions if you are flaming liberal. He does not want Chambers to be associated with God or conservatives. Reinsch had the audacity to do both!

  • Stacy,

    You have reached conclusions about the links I provided that are so far off base from the alternative approaches they suggested as to leave me mystified as to how your even process information…

  • Stacy Brown

    Looks like this guy David Chambers posts his letter to the editor every where this book is featured or reviewed. Not too obsessed.

  • J. Reed


    Aside from descending from Whittaker Chambers, David Chambers seems guiltiest of freedom of speech by offering his other viewpoints thoughts.

    Which is to say: calm down, please.

    (Or are you just an apparatchik for Reinsch?)

    – JR