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I.F. Stone Dies; `Conscience of Investigative Journalism'
[Home Edition]
Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Author: Weinstein, Henry; Pasternak, Judy
Date: Jun 19, 1989
Start Page: 1
Section: 1; Metro Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

[Christopher Stone] published his first newspaper as a New Jersey schoolboy of 14 and proceeded to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted for the rest of his life. He worked for seven newspapers, was Washington correspondent for The Nation magazine and wrote 13 books. Although his politics were well to the left of center, Stone was best known for a conservative-looking four-page paper, The I.F. Stone Weekly, which he published with his wife, Esther, for 18 years.

Stone was the subject of a documentary film, one biography and was called a "modern-day Tom Paine" by Amherst college historian Henry Steele Commager. Although Stone described himself as an independent radical, "the way he practiced journalism was conservative," said Tom Goldstein, dean of the UC Berkeley journalism school. Stone got the bulk of his stories by poring over a labyrinth of government documents and hearing transcripts that nobody else had the patience to wade through.

Even conservative author William Buckley praised Stone, although he was more measured in his appraisal. Buckley described Stone as an "intellectual-journalist-polemicist in confrontation with whom the establishment always needed to keep in fighting trim." But he criticized Stone for backing Progressive Party candidate Henry A. Wallace for President in 1948 and for supporting Joseph Stalin in the 1930s and Ho Chi Minh in the 1960s.

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