I. F. Stone was an American investigative journalist who always took a strong stand in his writings. Stone’s works were the perfect blend of thorough research and principal; he had strong opinions because he knew exactly what he was writing about. Stone took the time to scour public records to find information that had been overlooked by other journalists; this provided him with the factual foundation for his insights into the inner workings of America’s political and corporate elite. Stone also wrote extensively on foreign policy, covering complex geopolitical problems such as the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Soviet-American arms race with his usual robust assessments that were always objective.
Stone started his career as a journalist in the 1920s but was blacklisted in 1950 during the anti-communist purges headed by Senator Joseph McCarthy. As a result, Stone was unable to find work as a journalist. Stone and other professionals with left-wing sympathies were put on a blacklist which was circulated within key industries, such as defense, film and the media. The blacklist was a dark period in American history, often likened to a witch hunt. Innocent people were prevented from earning a living to support their families; as a result many lives were ruined because of this. Stone found a way to turn this devastating blow into an unparalleled journalist achievement. Stone launched a weekly publication that ran from 1953 to 1971, which ranked as one of the top print journalism publications in the 20th Century in the US.
Stone was a nonconformist journalist and writer at a time when convention dictated American media; as a result he gained reputation as an independent journalist that was an inspiration to other writers. The rebellion of the 1960s changed journalism and brought Stone more recognition and awards. To this day he remains a legend among journalists.
These 10 quotes by I.F. Stone are sure to inspire honesty, integrity and independence:
“If you expect to see the final results of your work, you simply have not asked a big enough question.” – I.F. Stone
“All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.” – I.F. Stone
“There must be renewed recognition that societies are kept stable and healthy by reform, not by thought police; this means there must be free play for so-called subversive ideas – every idea subverts the old to make way for the new. To shut off subversion is to shut off peaceful progress and to invite revolution and war.” – I.F. Stone
“Every time we are confronted with a new revolution we take to the opium pipes of our own propaganda.” – I.F. Stone
“Every emancipation has in it the seeds of a new slavery, and every truth easily becomes a lie.” – I.F. Stone
“The fault I find with most American newspapers is not the absence of dissent. It is the absence of news. With a dozen or so honorable exceptions, most American newspapers carry very little news. Their main concern is advertising.” – I.F. Stone
“The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you’re going to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins.” – I.F. Stone
“The arms race is based on an optimistic view of technology and a pessimistic view of man. It assumes there is no limit to the ingenuity of science and no limit to the deviltry of human beings.” – I.F. Stone
“Every man is his own Pygmalion, and spends his life fashioning himself. And in fashioning himself, for good or ill, he fashions the human race and its future.” – I.F. Stone
“I thought I might teach philosophy but the atmosphere of a college faculty repelled me; the few islands of greatness seemed to be washed by seas of pettiness and mediocrity.” – I.F. Stone
Bonus I.F. Stone Quote:
“To write the truth as I see it; to defend the weak against the strong; to fight for justice; and to seek, as best I can to bring healing perspectives to bear on their terrible hates and fears of mankind, in the hope of someday bringing about one world, in which men [and women] will enjoy the differences of the human garden instead of killing each other over them.” – I.F. Stone
Author: Phil Zavackis
Phil Zavackis is a freelance writer living in Toronto. He has recently finished a screenplay titled ‘105 Degrees & Rising’, which is about the Fall of Saigon in 1975. https://www.quora.com/profile/Phil-Zavackis/blogs