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Ghosts on the Roof (Library of Conservative Thought) Paperback – January 1, 1996

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[Ghosts on the Roof] is an important contribution to history and to literature. It will do . . . much to restore the correct perspective. . . . A superb rediscovery of the artistry of a great figure."

—William F. Buckley, Jr. "The world knows Whittaker Chambers best as a philosopher and a hero of liberty. Because of Ghosts on the Roof, it will be reminded that he was also a first-rank critic, an incisive stylist, and all in all one of America's greatest journalists. Terry Teachout's valuable collection will go directly to my most easily reached bookshelf, right next to the well-worn copies of Witness and Cold Friday."

—Richard Nixon "Ghosts on the Roof is an important book. . . . Chambers writes with distinction, compassion, and authority."

—Hilton Kramer "This book is a treasure chest for admirers of Whittaker Chambers such as myself."

—Robert Novak  

About the Author

Terry Teachout is a member of the editorial board of the New York Daily News. His writing appears in The American Scholar, Commentary, High Fidelity, Musical America, National Review, The New Criterion, The New Dance Review, and The Wall Street Journal.



Milton Hindus, a founding member of the Brandeis University faculty, served as the Edytha Macy Gross Professor of Humanities until his retirement. He is the author of Irving Babbitt, Literature and the Democratic Culture and has contributed to leading periodicals throughout the world.

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Product Details

  • Series: Library of Conservative Thought
  • Paperback: 361 pages
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers (January 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560008350
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560008354
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #761,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Orrin C. Judd VINE VOICE on March 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
For forty years the accepted establishment view of Whittaker Chambers was that of a fat, rumpled weirdo, obsessed, presumably for some kind of degenerate sexual reasons, with the destruction of Alger Hiss, a man who was in every way his better. Even the publication and excellent sales of his extraordinary memoir, Witness, could not erase that caricature from the minds of the elites. I remember a PBS miniseries about the Hiss case, which must date from the late 70's or early 80's (I checked; it looks like it was, fittingly, broadcast in 1984), which portrayed Hiss as a victim, if not an outright innocent. But then the pendulum began to swing :
-First came the 1978 publication of Allen Weinstein's authoritative book, Perjury : The Hiss-Chambers Case, which convinced most of the holdouts of the guilt of Alger Hiss.
-Then, in 1984, Ronald Reagan posthumously awarded Chambers the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
-Five years later came this collection of the journalism of Whittaker Chambers, Ghosts on the Roof, which began the process of restoring his literary reputation.
-The fall of the Soviet Union unleashed a flood of government secrets from both US and Russian files which exposed both the extent and success of Soviet efforts to penetrate the US government, media and Hollywood in the 30's & 40's and peace groups in the subsequent decades.
-In 1995, the VENONA intercepts were revealed, with their decoded messages confirming that the Rosenbergs and Hiss, among others, had been Soviet agents.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent anthology of Whittaker Chambers' writings from his moonlighting as a communist journalist to the period after his fall out with the Reds. He follows his subsequent migration to Time and his days penning for the National Review. If you've read and enjoyed his autobiography, Witness, than you will probably enjoy this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's easy to forget that Chambers was a marvelous craftsman as well as a great thinker. His writing is so measured and precise, and his feel for the weight of words so unerring, it makes every one of the selections a delight to read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really did not buy this for the content but for the jacket cover as a gag gift for friends...the title has special meaning for us. It turned out that after receiving it (and in very good condition with only a few marks in the pages) and reading the synopsis it did sound good enough to read. My friend who has an advanced degree in English agreed.
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