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American Radical: The Life and Times of I. F. Stone Hardcover – 26 May 2009


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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 570 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux; First Edition First Printing edition (26 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374183937
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374183936
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 5.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,363,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Guttenplan's lively biography brings back to life a man whose work has often been forgotten but whose writing and life provide a model for the kind of freethinking journalism missing in society today."--Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

Farrar Straus Giroux does not have UK rights on this title. Please remove the listing and stop selling this edition. Thanks.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By F. Fitzgibbon on 21 July 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is an exemplary biography - rich in detail, with an ambitious narrative sweep, embracing multitudinous C20 America. It rests on a profound knowledge of the period, and like Stone himself Guttenplan has the privileged view of US affairs from the left - from where the light and shade fall on what you thought were well known facts in different places. Stone is almost too big a personality for the 500+ pages of this book, which reads at times like a novel by Saul Bellow, but Guttenplan avoids the biographer's vice of wanting to cut his subject down to size, and the book is animated by his lively sympathy for Stone and his work. A pleasure to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Whiting on 25 Jun 2009
Format: Hardcover
Those who have read Barbara Ehrenreich's commencement address to this years graduating class at UC Berkeley know how lucky we are to still have a few such journalists as D.D. Guttenplan. Don is able to tell Izzy Stone's remarkable story from the unique vantage point of one who has already begun to live its contemporary approximation. It takes a journalist who has experienced the obstacles that lie in the path of truth-telling to narrate the exitement, the frustration and the ultimate satisfaction of picking the locks on doors that our rulers intend to remain firmly shut. If you're over fifty, this book will be an extraordinary recreation of some of recent history's worst and best moments; if you're under thirty and want to tell it like it is, it will show you what you're up against.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Spero on 12 Jun 2009
Format: Hardcover
Stone is one of those figures everyone should know about, like Peter Levi. Luckily, DD Guttenplan is bringing back the prominence he deserves.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
A "Radical" Whose Life and Times Resonate Today 27 May 2009
By Lawrence Friedman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I.F. Stone was an independent journalist now best known for the self-published "I.F. Stone's Weekly," which influenced a generation of crusading journalists. Stone presciently opposed the Vietnam War from the outset and otherwise set a standard for independence and analysis that his spiritual descendants, today's bloggers, can only emulate. Anyone interested in the great ideological, political, and cultural issues that engulfed 20th Century America and still affect us will want to read this fascinating biography. But if you come for the history what will keep you turning the pages is the portrait of a compelling and very human person (Stone smuggled himself into pre-independence Israel to see the first Arab-Israeli war first hand; in his old age, he taught himself ancient Greek and wrote a best seller about the trial of Socrates; after his death, he was unfairly targeted by the right wing as a Soviet agent). D.D. Guttenplan does a masterful job bringing to life the man and the times (just like the title says). Guttenplan has an impressive ability to describe Stone's world, whether in 1920s working-class Jewish Philadelphia or 1960s Washington and New York, and to summarize in a fair and perceptive way the many thorny political and ideological disputes that engulfed Stone, America, and the world. My standard for the merit of a book is how reluctant you are to put it down and how much food for thought it has given you. I loved meeting I.F. Stone, was sad to part company with him at the end, and was greatly enriched and inspired by Guttenplan's depiction of a life and times that continue to resonate today.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
An Important Book 27 May 2009
By An Old Liberal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
D.D. Guttenplan has got it completely right. I actually knew Izzy Stone a little bit. He was a force of nature and perhaps the 20th century's most important -- and certainly most independent -- political journalist. He was also a completely independent radical who had a life-time commitment to social justice but never compromised his own autonomy or allowed himself to parrot any kind of party line. Guttenplan's clear and intelligent narrative gives us a full picture of Stone's irrascible integrity as well as his utter brilliance as a writer and political analyst. It's also a great read.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
First a radical, then a "traitor," finally a saint 19 Jun 2009
By Arthur Waskow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Izzy Stone and I had lunch together a number of times in Washington DC between 1962 and 1982, while I was a Fellow of the Inst. for Policy Studies and he was --- Izzy. The book gets him right. It's an amazing life to absorb. He was gutsy, independent-minded beyond even most radicals: Told me with rueful pride how he had supported Tito's independent Yugoslavia vs. the USSR and lost many thousands of bulk subs for the Weekly that had been bought by unions controlled by the Communist Party. Said he'd never sell bulk subs again -- too dependent on big purchases from a few people.

He told me that if you stick to your beliefs-in-action, first they call you a radical and a trouble-maker , then a traitor (to whatever system you live in), and if you live long enough, a saint. "Beware of sainthood" he said. "I'm not sure it's worth living that long." Read the book!

- Shalom, salaam., peace --
Rabbi Arthur Waskow
The Shalom Center
[...]
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Not to be forgotten 20 Jun 2009
By C. Glass - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Izzy Stone's Weekly provides the best chronicle of its time, far more reliable and critical of power than the Times of any American city. Anyone with doubts to this man's integrity and contribution to the art (rather than the mere practice) of journalism need only watch the great documentary of the early 1970s, I.F. Stone's Weekly, or read D. D. Guttenplan's biography. While, as Will Rogers famously said, nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public, I. F. Stone treated that public as if it were the conscience of the republic that Thomas Jefferson believed it would be. While we may lament the degradation of democracy in the United States, it is worthwhile to read about a man who never doubted its importance or its potential. It is about time he had the fine biography he deserved.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Carrying the torch 19 Jun 2009
By John Whiting - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Those who have read Barbara Ehrenreich's commencement address to this years graduating class at UC Berkeley know how lucky we are to still have a few such journalists as D.D. Guttenplan. Don is able to tell Izzie Stone's remarkable story from the unique vantage point of one who has already lived a contemporary approximation of the same remarkable story. It takes a journalist who has experienced the obstacles that lie in the path of truth-telling to narrate the exitement, the frustration and the ultimate satisfaction of picking the locks on doors that our rulers intend to remain firmly shut. If you're over fifty, this book will be an extraordinary recreation of some of recent history's worst and best moments; if you're under thirty and want to tell it like it is, it will show you what you're up against.

[...]
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