American Radical (Magill's Literary Annual 2010)
As a skilled journalist writing political biography, D. D. Guttenplan uses American Radical: The Life and Times of I. F. Stone to advance his own arguments, which are aimed squarely at the present day. He sees a critical press as essential to healthy democracy, while independent journalism is perpetually endangered by the machinations and obfuscations of entrenched political power. I. F. Stone’s life and work as an American political thinker and iconoclastic journalist demonstrate for Guttenplan “the compatibility of [Stone’s] beloved Jefferson and his equally beloved Marx,” and he seeks through this biography to show that an extended study of one remarkable life can illuminate the tensions inherent in history while sparking fresh political insight and the energy for democratic political action.
Guttenplan does not argue that the legacies of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), philosopher of the American Revolution, and Karl Marx (1818-1883), philosopher of socialism, coexist easily in either the history of the United States or the life of I. F. Stone, nor does he ignore the deeply contradictory historical trajectories of these legacies. He does, however, show that Stone’s life and work demonstrate that it was, and remains, possible in the United States to fuse and nurture the best elements of both political traditions while standing up to challenge the worst historical developments evolving out of each. American Radical is not only...
(The entire section is 1925 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2010)
Columbia Journalism Review 48, no. 2 (July/August, 2009): 60-61.
The Economist 391, no.8631 (May 16, 2009): 90.
The New York Review of Books 56, no. 14 (September 24, 2009): 79-82.
The New York Times, July 5, 2009, p.BR12.
The New York Times, July 10, 2009, p.C26.
The New York Times Book Review, July 12, 2009, p. 18.
Publishers Weekly 256, no. 12 (March 23, 2009): 53.
Village Voice, June 2, 2009, p. 32.
The Wall Street Journal 253, no. 125 (May 30, 2009): W8.
(The entire section is 57 words.)