A very interesting tour through the big issues of the last 50 years. The contemporary writing meant that the author did not know how the controversies of the day would turn out--this really casts current events in a whole new light. Really demonstrates that, while history may not repeat itself, it sure does rhyme. The same political and social issues come up repeatedly over time.
Pithy insightful comments, with really fine writing. Short articles make for easy digestible reading.
This collection of I.F.Stone's work recreates his life experiences, as he talked about himself as well as the frictions of his age. Refreshingly honest, gives the interviewer's view of someone going through a calamitous time. Included are discussions of the Israeli problems, the vietnam war, government poor performance in dealing with rights for people of color, etc. It leaves you wishing he were still around.
No matter your opinion of Stone, you have to admit that he lived his live with his eyes open. Here, in a compilation of the best of his work we can see his reactions to the world as events happen. These essays are like watching history develop with a very narrow focus. I kept thinking of a version of Zinn's A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present that was written at the time events were actually happening.
This book, and Stone's whole life, are wholly commendable from a leftist perspective as they give context that is wanting from most contemporaneous history books and hagiographies of figures that make appearances here. Read this book and really learn about the past.
The only issue is that this book is perhaps best appreciated as a side treat, dipped into occasionally. The nature of the structure keeps away the idea of a cover-to-cover reader.
First, I have to admit I am an old I F Stone fan. And I generally agree with his politics. As a college student at the University of Colorado, I also had the thrill of being his driver when he participated in that school's famed international affairs week.
This book bought back a flood of memories of history going back to the '40s and on through the 70s. I sheds light on back stories and analysis (as only Stone could provide it) of important moments in our history. And it reveals Stone's integrity and skill as an investigative journalist. As a leftist, he was quite capable of holding the left's or unions' collective feet to the fire when they were on the wrong track or on the wrong side of important struggles for racial justice. As a Jew he was able hold Jewish teachers in NYC to account for their role in the 70s struggles for community control of schools.
I was always impressed by Stone's skill in providing deep insight into stories that the rest of the media ignored, by his intellect and wit, and by his deep humanity. This collection provides an impressive sample of all of these qualities for those who remember his Weekly and other writings, or for those who want to revisit this era of our shared history from a unique point of view.