I.F. Stone was before my time, obviously, but as a student of history, I’ve read a lot of his reporting. Eric Alterman defends Izzy Stone, again:
the twentieth anniversary of Tiananmen Square puts me in mind of the death of I.F. Stone, which happened right around the same time. It was one of Izzy’s charms that it is entirely believable that, while in a hospital in Boston where he would finally give out, he awoke briefly from a lengthy period of unconsciousness to ask his doctors about the fate of the young protesters there. (His opposition to Chinese Communist oppression was of a piece with his brilliant exposes of the abuses of Soviet psychiatry at the end of his six days career. These do not of course “make up” for the mistakes he made defending Stalin half a century earlier, but they do provide context for those who would paint his politics as monochromatic.)
This is yet another column about the attempts to smear Izzy’s reputation. I’ve written about him quite a lot during the past twenty or so years beginning with a profile in Mother Jones back in June, 1988, which you can find here. I’ve also done some first-hand investigation of the nature of the charges against him, which I described here and here I was a close friend of Stone’s during the final decade of his life and so I was pleased when Tina Brown asked me to take a look at charges on the day that they appeared for her website, The Daily Beast. I was amazed at the disconnect between the inflammatory language employed by the authors and the skimpiness of their evidence. That is here.
[Click to continue reading 'Smearing Izzy Continued,' Continued…]
The Tighty-Righties have never allowed facts to get in the way of their jeremiads, the reputation of I.F. Stone as a Stalinist among conservatives is just but one small example of this tendency.
And so it was odd that both the Wilson Center and the CWIP agreed to provide a forum for the series of wild allegations leveled by their authors. Radosh was actually invited to chair a panel. And panelist Max Holland speculated that Stone had received KGB funding both for the publication of I.F. Stone’s Weekly and his book on the Korean War, again with absolutely nothing in the way of evidence. Other panels, including one on the Hiss-Chambers controversy and one that dealt with Robert Oppenheimer were similarly stacked. (Martin Sherwin, who co-authored a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography on Oppenheimer with Kai Bird, was not invited to be a panelist even though he lives right there in Washington.)