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In a Time of Torment: 1961-1967 (Nonconformist History of Our Times) Paperback – April, 1989


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Product Details

  • Series: Nonconformist History of Our Times
  • Paperback: 463 pages
  • Publisher: Little Brown & Co (P) (April 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316817503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316817509
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,024,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on April 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
I.F. Stone was a virtual legend among political junkies in the sixties and seventies, as indeed he was for well over a half century in various journalistic capacities from the Depression era until the late 1980s. He published an independent weekly journal for well over twenty years from the early 1950s until the mid-1970s in which he acted as soul reporter, editor, and publisher, and the work was acclaimed for its consistent accuracy, poignancy, and verve. He caught many scoops others were either not clever enough or courageous enough to cover, and his ability to focus on the way the facts of the situation fit together into a political byline made him a `must-read' for anyone interested in understanding how politics actually got done (down and dirty) in Washington, DC.
This particular book, "In A Time Of Torment, 1961-1967", is a superb collection of some of his most memorable articles, thought-pieces and observations taken from both the I.F. Stone Weekly as well as from the pages of `The Nation' and elsewhere during the most outrageous of times indeed, the turbulent and raucous 1960s. Also important in understanding Stone's approach is the book's subtitle, 'A Nonconformist History Of Our Times'; Stone is the most radical of journalists in that he approaches the issues at hand with supreme objectivity and without political blinders, and yet does so informed by a set of values and ethics that one wonders at his ability to `cut to the chase' and render the truth so consistently and so reliably that one often marvels at how simple he makes such erudition seem.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bruce P. Barten on April 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
I. F. Stone seemed to take it personally whenever any part of the globe was under consideration for being sent back to a new Stone Age by modern weaponry. Regarding proposals for more relentless pursuit of American policy in Vietnam on January 20, 1966, he wrote, "But this tough old troglodyte is not through yet. The whole air force drive in Vietnam is to transform a war we can't win to a war we might; from a war for the loyalties of the Vietnamese people into a war to destroy them; this is giving the obsolete B-52 its last murderous gasp over South Vietnam's jungles and rice paddies." (p. 104) That was a long time ago, and Stone can hardly be blamed for failing to see that the situations which could make such activities popular would fail to end in his own time. He had some grasp of history, but hardly could tell that we were all heading for catastrophes in which being unable to relate would be the new norm.
Torment is the key word in the title. The 1960s were years which were my golden age for understanding the geopolitical situation, because I was young enough to appreciate political views without regard for who was making money or controlling the means of production. I. F. Stone was astute enough to make his own economic criticism count in such times, even in the unlikely context of a review of the life of General Curtis LeMay, "after a lifetime of bomber command, as he told it to the writer of his story, MacKinley Kantor." (p. 92):
His nearest approach to an unfriendly remark about the capitalist system is an angry comment in his account of how the Air Corps flew the mails in 1934 under Roosevelt.
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Format: Paperback
Several recent reports examine through a variety of media how enslaved our once free now corporate and monopolistic press has grown. For example, Tim Robbins in his play Embedded Live exposes the way our press, unlike for instance under the journalism of Al GOre in the rice fields of Vietnam, are led around on a leash by the military Public Disinformation Office, and never report the thousands we kill each day in our lust for oil.

Similarly, we see in Orwell Rolls in His Grave how and why this occurs on the domestic front as well, with our political front men and spin doctors tightly controlling the corporate owned media to dictate how we the public must frame our thoughts on important issues, and waste much time on insignificant ones.

This modern travesty of our Founding Fathers's legacy of a free press in order to provide our democracy with the necessary well-informed public was deftly delayed by the great IF Stone, whose likes we need now more than ever.

This collection of articles from his weekly, published between 1961 through 1967 (and thus covering the Kennedy and Johnson administrations), illustrate the kind of journalism our people now must hunger for: intelligent, independent and fearless.

In his brilliant introduction, Stone astutely and prophetically foretold our current dismal condition of a tightly controlled press. He explores how disfavored reporters could be locked out of news sources, just as we have seen happen these past few years.
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