Celebrating Harvey Klehr

Harvey Klehr

Harvey Klehr

The Power Line 100 Best Professors in America series went dormant a while back during my own full immersion into the professoriate, and while I’ll eventually get back to that project in a new fashion, it behooves us to take note of the retirement of Emory University historian Harvey Klehr, who today delivered his last lecture at Emory on the subject of Hayek’s Road to Serfdom. (Klehr would rank high up on the revised and updated list that I’ll eventually produce once I get the Power Line equivalent of the BCS Championship computer algorithm working.)

Klehr is best known as a groundbreaking historian of the Cold War, having authored or co-authored over a dozen books on the subject of American Communism. He was one of the first researchers to get into the Venona Papers after the fall of the Soviet Union, which produced Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America in 1999. (These were the Soviet documents that proved once and for all that Alger Hiss had indeed been a Soviet agent.) Other titles include In Denial: Historians, Communism and Espionage; Early Cold War Spies: The Espionage Trials That Shaped American Politics; and Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America. (His co-author for all four of these books was John Earl Haynes, an equally worthy historian and truth-teller.)

Here’s a two-minute conclusion of a lecture Klehr gave on the double standard of liberalism when it comes to Communism and Communists. The main point: Facts matter. (You can take in the whole 45 minute lecture here.)