Tag: communism

Chambers: Death of a Nation?

Those who have read this blog long enough know my affinity for Whittaker Chambers, a man I consider one of the true heroes in American history. That’s why he is one of the subjects of my new book The Witness and the President: Whittaker Chambers, Ronald Reagan, and the Future of Freedom. He had joined the Communist Party in the 1920s, thinking it was the answer to all the world’s crises. Only later did he come to grips with his… Read more »

The Christian Witness to the World

The arrival of Pope Francis in America takes me back in my thoughts to an earlier era when a pope who grew up under communism and understood the horrors of socialist practices worked with an American president who was a Protestant (with a Catholic father) and a British prime minister who was tutored all her early years by her Methodist shopkeeper father (and who later said that C. S. Lewis was one of her spiritual mentors) to overthrow the Soviet… Read more »

Whittaker Chambers: Conservatism or Counterrevolution?

The year: 1938. The occasion: a meeting between Whittaker Chambers, who had, at great peril, left the American communist underground, and General Walter Krivitsky, a defector from Stalin’s secret police. This meeting was instrumental in helping Chambers decide to inform on his former underground associates, and eventually led to the front-page drama of the Chambers-Hiss controversy from 1948-1950. Chambers was hesitant to talk with Krivitsky. He knew it might lead to that fateful decision that would change the rest of… Read more »

The Lewis-Chambers Missed Opportunity

Another of C. S. Lewis’s regular American correspondents was Mary Van Deusen, someone with whom he shared thoughts on deep theological issues and on current events. One of her chief concerns, in the early 1950s, was the knowledge of how communists had infiltrated the American government. In one response to her, Lewis talked about how that issue showcased one problem with the modern concept of democracy: Your question about Communists-in-government really raises the whole problem of Democracy. If one accepts… Read more »

Tear Down This Wall!

Today marks an auspicious historical anniversary: 25 years ago today, the Berlin Wall fell. First erected in 1961 to keep East Germans from fleeing communism, it became the symbol of the Cold War. Its demise, and the fall of communism in Eastern Europe in general, is worth remembering—that is, if you have a memory of it at all; our education system isn’t exactly top-notch: I grew up with the reality of the Cold War and the threat it posed. I… Read more »

Lewis: Surprised by Joy [Davidman]

I’ve been reading the letters of Joy Davidman, who, before her untimely death from cancer at the age of 45, was, for the last few years of her life, the wife of C. S. Lewis. If you’ve ever seen the movie Shadowlands, you’ve seen an attempt by Hollywood to portray the relationship between the two, but it falls far short of reality. There are historical inaccuracies—even for the sake of artistic license, one must not stray too far—and C. S…. Read more »

The Pilgrim Story: Communism Rejected

The financiers who provided the funds for the Pilgrims’ voyage to America had as one of their requirements that the farming in the new settlement be set up communally. No individual or family was to have their own land. Rather, everyone had to work on communal land and receive an equal share of the crops. This wasn’t the Pilgrims’ idea, but they felt bound to the arrangement. For a while, at least. As governor, William Bradford had to make a… Read more »