American Radical : The Life and Times of I. F. Stone by D. D. Guttenplan, Julian Assange |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
American Radical: The Life and Times of I. F. Stone

American Radical: The Life and Times of I. F. Stone

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by Guttenplan
     
 

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Popular Front columnist and New Deal propagandist. Fearless opponent of McCarthyism and feared scourge of official liars. Enterprising, independent reporter and avid amateur classicist. As D.D. Guttenplan puts it in his compelling book, I.F. Stone did what few in his profession could—he always thought for himself. America's most celebrated investigative

Overview

Popular Front columnist and New Deal propagandist. Fearless opponent of McCarthyism and feared scourge of official liars. Enterprising, independent reporter and avid amateur classicist. As D.D. Guttenplan puts it in his compelling book, I.F. Stone did what few in his profession could—he always thought for himself. America's most celebrated investigative journalist himself remains something of a mystery, however. Born Isidor Feinstein in Philadelphia, raised in rural New Jersey, by the age of 25 this college drop-out was already an influential newsman, and enjoying extraordinary access to key figures in New Deal Washington and the friendship of important artists in New York.

It is Guttenplan’s wisdom to see that the key to Stone’s achievements throughout his singular career—and not just in his celebrated I.F. Stone’s Weekly—lay in the force and passion of his political commitments. Stone’s calm, forensic, yet devastating reports on American politics and institutions sprang from a radical faith in the long-term prospects for American democracy.

His testimony on the legacy of American politics from the New Deal and World War II to the era of the civil rights struggles, the Vietnam War, and beyond amounts to as vivid a record of those times as we are likely to have. Guttenplan's lively, provocative book makes clear why so many of his pronouncements have acquired the force of prophecy.

Editorial Reviews

David Carr
In American Radical: The Life and Times of I. F. Stone, D. D. Guttenplan has written a comprehensive and rigorous portrait of an intellectual lone wolf, a crusading journalist who took the disregard of the mainstream as a taunt and carved out a place in American political life through relentlessness and a small, but mighty, weekly newsletter.
—The New York Times
Michael Kimmage
D.D. Guttenplan, a London correspondent for the Nation, offers a vividly written, avidly researched biography in American Radical.… Throughout his biography, Guttenplan emphasizes Stone's salience as a political thinker, not just as a talented, spirited journalist. He portrays Stone as a progressive unencumbered by party line, capable of criticizing the left and courageous enough to resist conservative repression.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

At his death, reporter and amateur classicist I.F. Stone was hailed as an "iconoclast of journalism," "a dogged investigator and a concise and clever writer," "an American institution" and "a journalist's journalist." At the same time, he was called wrongheaded and accused of being a KGB agent. In this sometimes workmanlike but often animated biography, Guttenplan (The Holocaust on Trial) provides a lively portrait of a journalist who was as passionate about radical politics and getting a story right as he was about ballroom dancing. Drawing on interviews with Stone's family and friends, the complete archive of Stone's writings-including fragments of letters-and two previous biographies of Stone, Guttenplan traces his subject's life and career from Stone's early upbringing as Isidor Feinstein in Philadelphia and his days as a college dropout to his birth as one of America's premier journalists in the pages of the Nation, PM and eventually his own I.F. Stone's Weekly. A brilliant gadfly and independent thinker, Stone was at once cozy with New Deal politicians and union leaders. He reported undercover from Palestine as he accompanied Holocaust survivors through a British blockade and became a hero of America's Jews. Guttenplan's lively biography brings back to life a man whose work has often been forgotten but whose writing and life provide a model for the kind of freethinking journalism missing in society today. (June)

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Kirkus Reviews
The astonishingly assiduous professional life of I.F. Stone (1907-89), who covered stories from the Sacco and Vanzetti trials to the Iran-Contra affair and became an icon to investigative journalists. Born Isadore Feinstein in Philadelphia to a shopkeeper father, "Izzy" Stone came early to his profession, publishing a little newspaper as a youth. He never stopped writing. The Nation London correspondent Guttenplan (The Holocaust on Trial: History, Justice, and the David Irving Libel Case, 2001) begins on Dec. 12, 1949, when Stone appeared on Meet the Press as the Red Scare was about to explode. After debating the merits of national health insurance with Dr. Morris Fishbein, he didn't appear on television again for decades. Stone's radical positions in the McCarthy era ended one phase of his career-working for established journals-and began another: self-publishing I.F. Stone's Weekly, which endured-and sometimes thrived, especially during Vietnam-for nearly 20 years. As much social and cultural history as biography-Guttenplan offers little about Stone's personal life-the narrative serves as a textbook for those not alive during the Stone ages. The Depression, American Communism, the New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, the civil-rights movement, the Vietnam War, Israel and the Middle East, assassinations and political corruption and cultural characters of all sorts-these are all critical to an understanding of Stone's life and work. Guttenplan, who began the book in 1990, makes certain that readers know what and who they are before he proceeds. Though largely admiring of Stone-praise occasionally supersedes analysis-the author reveals that Stone was a tough man to work for; no employee,except his wife, lasted long. His loyalties to fact and the truth trumped just about everything else, friendship included. Prodigious research and a grateful heart inform this essential biography of an irreplaceable journalist.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374183936
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
05/26/2009
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
592
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.90(d)

Meet the Author

D. D. Guttenplan, The Nation's London correspondent, is the author of The Holocaust on Trial: History, Justice and the David Irving Libel Case, and is an award-winning former writer for Newsday. His essays have appeared in many American journals and newspapers.

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