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

D.D. Gut­ten­plan
  • Review
By – August 24, 2011
I.F. Stone (1907 – 89) was a unique fig­ure in Amer­i­can jour­nal­ism, an icon­o­clast who worked both at major news­pa­pers and entire­ly on his own. Born Isadore Fein­stein in Had­don­field, N.J., Izzy” Stone was coura­geous and prin­ci­pled, a tough com­bi­na­tion to beat, par­tic­u­lar­ly when he armed him­self with the facts on the con­tro­ver­sies of the day. Guttenplan’s focus here is on Stone’s polit­i­cal com­mit­ments and how his left­ist view of the world shaped what he wrote and edit­ed over the decades — and both expand­ed and lim­it­ed his audi­ences over the years. Though the book is well-researched, it’s too bad Gut­ten­plan is not the writer Stone was. This biog­ra­phy is a bit of a tough slog, with seem­ing­ly end­less explo­rations of the polit­i­cal affil­i­a­tions of the book’s many char­ac­ters. Some trim­ming would have done this book good. Index, end notes.
David Cohen is a senior edi­tor at Politi­co. He has been in the jour­nal­ism busi­ness since 1985 and wrote the book Rugged and Endur­ing: The Eagles, The Browns and 5 Years of Foot­ball. He resides in Rockville, MD.; his wife, Deb­o­rah Bod­in Cohen, writes Jew­ish children’s books.

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