Friday, December 24, 2010

I. F. Stone (December 24, 1907)

Izzy Stone was an independent left-wing journalist, who published his own “I. F. Stone’s Weekly” from 1952 until 1971 as well as articles in other publications and several books.

He described his early life: “I had become a radical in the ‘20s while in my teens, mostly through reading Jack London, Herbert Spencer, Kropotkin and Marx. I became a member of the Socialist Party and was elected to the New Jersey State Committee of the Socialist Party before I was old enough to vote. I did publicity for Norman Thomas in the 1928 campaign while a reporter on a small city daily, but soon drifted away from left-wing politics because of the sectarianism of the left. Moreover, I felt that party affiliation was incompatible with independent journalism, and I wanted to be free to help the unjustly treated, to defend everyone's civil liberty and to work for social reform without concern for leftist infighting.”

In the fifties, just as McCarthy was beginning his infamous investigations, Stone founded his Weekly. It became a welcome independent voice – often a solitary voice -- in that era of persecution of the left. He became one of the most respected figures for his original and penetrating views on many subjects, including challenges to government claims about nuclear testing and many others.

“I believe that no society is good and can be healthy without freedom for dissent and for creative independence,” he wrote in 1963. If you had to invent a secular Jewish hero in journalism and political analysis, you couldn’t make up a better one.

Quotes from The Official Website of I.F.Stone

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