Chambers had resigned from Time in December 1948. After the Hiss Case, he wrote a few articles for Fortune, Life, and Look magazines.
In 1952, Chambers's book Witness was published to widespread acclaim. The book was a combination of autobiography and a warning about the dangers of Communism. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. called it "a powerful book". Ronald Reagan credited the book as the inspiration behind his conversion from a New Deal Democrat to a conservative Republican. Witness was a bestseller for more than a year and helped pay off Chambers' legal debts, though bills lingered ("as Odysseus was beset by a ghost").
In 1955, William F. Buckley, Jr. started the magazine National Review, and Chambers worked there as senior editor, publishing articles there for a little over a year and a half (October 1957–June 1959). The most widely cited article to date is a scathing review, "Big Sister is Watching You", of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.
In 1959, after resigning from National Review, Chambers and his wife visited Europe, the highlight of which was a meeting with Arthur Koestler and Margarete Buber-Neumann at Koestler's home in Austria. That fall, he recommenced studies at Western Maryland College (new McDaniel College) in Westminster, Maryland.