Late last week, I caught up with a couple of not-to-be missed articles from the current issue of The New Criterion.
First, there’s Ronald Radosh on I.F. Stone, taking stock of the man and some of the recent controversy surrounding the publication of his new biography. Radosh concludes:
I. F. Stone was a bundle of contradictions: a good reporter; a naïve left-wing ideologue; a fellow-traveler who was embarrassed in later days about his youthful pro-Soviet leanings; a supporter of Israel who turned against it; a man who could speak sense about America’s great failure, segregation, but who above all wanted to be part of the anti-anti-Communist Left. To look back at his columns and his career is to recall a sad earlier time. It is hardly a guide for what journalists today should strive towards.
Next is Paul Johnson’s essay “The human race: success or failure?” It’s a typically brilliant example of Johnson’s specialty, which is to take big topics and write about them in vivid prose. Here we have a brief history of human nature, a plea for the importance of faith, and lots of aphorisms.