Stone turned his attention to a lifelong fascination, the study of the classics. From his youth as a soapbox orator for the Socialist Party to his middle-aged mockery of Harry Truman, John Foster Dulles, and J. Stone published his last book, The Trial of Socrates, that examined one of the most famous historical events of Ancient Greece. However, what I wasn't aware of was how connected he was earlier in his life when he was a newspaper reporter and editorial writer. It was, in a way, the conventional wisdom of the day.
And it broke his heart. Stone, investigative journalist extraordinaire, speaking in 1965 against the Vietnam War. He always succeeded in prompting other people to think. He was an independent radical. Returning to New York in 1951 after a year in Paris as foreign correspondent for the Compass, he can't get his passport renewed. He grew up, though, in Haddonfield, New Jersey, rather than Philadelphia.
I mean, essentially, he said — because there was some debate. This biography reinforces that impression of his work in the 1950s and 1960s. In the pantheon of American political journalists no one played left field like I. But he came to office with labor union support. It may also be that Stone as a success, as an icon, is less interesting to a biographer than Stone as fallen angel, or maverick outsider. He wrote speeches for the President but was never acknowledged.
After all, Stone's continuing status as a hate figure for the American right was attested as recently as August 2007, when President George W. Roosevelt of Athens, Solon, about two centuries before Socrates, in establishing the democracy, by which I mean by opening the right to vote to the poor as well as the well-to-do and the middle class, provided not only freedom of speech and assembly, but also the right of association, so that the aristocratic opposition, some of it oligarchic and loyal, but some of it very disloyal, a very small fringe, pro-Spartan, had organized these clubs and secret conspiracies that Plato refers — that Socrates refers to. Despite his impish tweaking of those he pursued, Stone was probably not a barrel of monkeys to be around, but that fact is only hinted at. Stone was so successful as a newsletter maverick precisely because he had been successful in the mainstream and, to a lesser extent, on the left-wing. The book's review of the Popular Front in the 1930s is sympathetic and illuminating.
So Truman knew that some things are too important to be left to private enterprise, and he felt that healthcare was one of them. It never invites a critic. But he thought that advertising corrupted journalism, and he wanted journalists to be able to say and report the truth as they saw it. Great bio on Stone, but also a great introduction on the days of the 'fronts' in the thirties and their changing connections with American journalism and politics in general. And he was very much someone who was in favor of controlling healthcare costs. There was a generation of Americans who were radicalized by the Great Depression.
He was not a radical, Ralph Ingersoll. They wanted to keep things the way they were. On Cuba and on domestic civil rights his positions are far to the left even of most liberals, and his opposition to nuclear testing and to the American interventions in Guatemala and Southeast Asia place him well outside the cold war consensus. As his critic, competitor, and longtime friend Murray Kempton said, when reading I. Rockefeller would have been interred, rather than merely interned, for trading with the enemy on the same terms as the American tycoon did; and who, long before the sit-ins and freedom rides, regularly chided American blacks not for their restiveness but for their patience.
And so, when Truman and Stalin ceased to cooperate — and, you know, I think Stone thought that there was plenty of fault on both sides in that ending of cooperation, but he felt, in a way, that the Soviet Union had just lost 20 million people in this war and that Stalin, in a way, had reasons to be paranoid and reasons to fear encirclement and things like that. At the end of his life he spent his time reading the Torah and Greek classics. He refused to take out the sentence; they refused to spend the money on the advertising. The Nation London correspondent Guttenplan The Holocaust on Trial: History, Justice, and the David Irving Libel Case, 2001 begins on Dec. Popular Front columnist and New Deal propagandist. And he came back with this proposal. If the reader has a deep knowledge and fanatic interest in the internecine battles between American Communists and Socialists, between Bolsheviks and Trotskyites, and among all myriad splinters on the left, this book provides an extremely detailed wiring diagram.
And he realized that there had to be an indigenous African American movement for that to happen. Even in his years of success, nothing had changed. This book is more than just a story about one independent journalist. And in a small town, everybody on the left has to get along. But seeing it at £25 I somehow think it wouldve been better served as a £9. So there have been these paranoid periods. He was not someone who grew up, as my father did, on the streets of the Bronx.
Fearless opponent of McCarthyism and feared scourge of official liars. This is courtesy of the Pacifica Radio Archives. Review, Front Row, Open Book, Film Prog. Tectonic personal events — an enduring marriage, professional dispossession because of his political beliefs, a long struggle with deafness — are rendered as facts, not experiences. Popular Front columnist and New Deal propagandist, fearless opponent of McCarthyism and feared scourge of official liars, I. And although he kept his position for many years, eventually Stern gave in, changed his mind, published an apology to the Church, stopped speaking up about Spain.