Witness at 60

At the end of his Impromptus column today, Jay Nordlinger writes:

Let’s end with Yale — with the William F. Buckley, Jr., Program at Yale. The Buckley program had a conference on the last day of November….The theme of the conference was Whittaker Chambers’s great book, Witness — which was published 60 years ago. (Anniversaries are irresistible to organizers of all types.)

There was a slew of top-notch speakers, including Norman Podhoretz, worth the price of admission all by himself (not that tickets were sold, to my knowledge). The conference had three panels, three speakers each. I was on a panel with Elliott Abrams and Max Boot.

At the Buckley program’s website, you will find videos of all this. Knock yourself out, here.

The two videos below take viewers through the multiple conference videos.

I would add a footnote for those whose interest in the Hiss-Chambers case might be triggered by viewing the videos. The authoritative book on the case is Allen Weinstein’s Perjury. The fourth chapter of John V. Fleming’s The Anti-Communist Manifestos pays a brilliant tribute to the literary qualities of Chambers’s memoir. Sam Tanenhaus’s biography of Chambers is also must reading.