by Robert C. Cottrell
Excerpts From Some Reviews of Cottrell’s Biography “Izzy”
Allan Jalon, of the LA Times, called Cottrell’s book "a
textured portrayal of Stone's life as a prism thorugh which to examines
decades of changes in the American left."
Jonathan Kirsch of The Los Angeles Times said: "'Izzy,' is the first definitive
biography of a near‑mythic character in American journalism"; "Cottrell [is]
an appreciative but also an able and evenhanded biographer"; "But, in a
real sense, 'Izzy' is less a biography of the man than an intellectual
and political chronicle of progressive politics and activist journalism
in 20th‑Century America. Indeed, the figure of I.F. Stone is rather
like the needle on a political seismography that charts every tremor and
temblor from the First World War through the collapse of Communism.";
"Stone comes across in Cottrell's book as a celebrity journalist who
never sold out, a 'charter' who never became a caricature of himself and
an ideological stalwart whose politics may have changed but whose
commitment to journalism in the service of social justice never wavered."
Peter Browne, Sydney Morning Herald, said: "It is a readable and convincing
account of the seemingly tireless journalist who, having 'retired' from
the Weekly, went on to write long essays for the New York Review and
the controversial bestseller The Trial of Socrates".
James Combs, Journal of American Culture, said: "Cottrell's superb biography
should remind all of those who fancy themselves journalists just what
that heroic social role should mean. For I.F. Stone, it was nothing
less than a life‑long commitment to the investigation and criticism of
power, based on the Stonean assumption that all governments are run by
liars."; "One might hope that journalism schools around the land might
require students to read Cottrell's biography to remind everyone in 'the
media' that the journalistic profession has much to profess if its
practitioners are inspired by the example of I.F. Stone and the singular
principle we associate with him: integrity."
Jean C. Chance, Journalism History, said: "The scope of Izzy is
enormous....Readers should focus on this work for its unabashed support
of investigative journalism. It is a tribute to the role of good
journalism in the strongest tradition of the responsibility of the
Fourth Estate. Stone, Cottrell argues, lives this role, he did not just
practice his duties as a journalist....We are indebted to Cottrell for
this contribution to journalism literature."; "Look long and hard at
what Cottrell has contributed to journalism literature with this book."
His bibliography is worthy of study and makes a great contribution to
those wishing to contemplate the journalism of a sixty‑year period.
This is a significant study."
Carl Sessions Stepp, American Journalism Review, said: "In Stone's life and
work, Cottrell finds an extraordinary opportunity to examine 'the
intersection between commitment, professionalism, and ideology.'"; "This
is a valuable book about a complex, pugnacious individualist whose
epitaph lives in the words of Village Voice writer Jack Newfield: 'He
taught me to read the small print.'"
R. Halverson, Choice, said: "This well‑balanced biography of Isidor Feinstein
(I.F.) Stone....Cottrell... also provides superb documentation,
exhaustive notes, and a helpful index. Writing is clear but not