Author Profile

(Critical Guide to Censorship and Literature)

The veteran gadfly journalist I. F. Stone has been characterized by Henry Steele Commager in The New York Review of Books as “a modern Tom Paine, celebrating Common Sense and the Rights of Man, hammering away at tyranny, injustice, exploitation, deception, and chicanery.” A journalist since his teens, Stone published for nineteen years his independent newsletter, I. F. Stone’s Weekly (later the Bi-Weekly), in which he spoke his mind on virtually any subject. Although Stone aimed his barbs primarily at the establishment, he managed, as Henry Allen put it in 1971, “to annoy some of the people all of the time, and all of the people at one time or another.”

Stone had some 5,300 paid subscribers when he launched his four- page journal of fact and opinion, I. F. Stone’s Weekly, in January, 1953. Among its early subscribers were Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Aided only by his wife, who handled the business end of the publication, Stone published the Weekly from a modest two-story house on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. Doing his own research, reporting, writing, editing, and proofreading, Stone achieved a high-quality publication. Accurate, well-written, and interesting, it was graced by Stone’s idiosyncratic wit and humor.

Despite some initial difficulties, the Weekly soon began to prosper; by 1963 its circulation had nearly quadrupled. Stone curtailed...

(The entire section is 500 words.)