America's most celebrated investigative journalist himself remains something of a mystery. 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.
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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