Friday, September 01, 2006

New books

Looking forward to a couple of new books that will give a whole new look at journalism history:

Alicia Shepard's book about Woodward, Bernstein and Watergate will be out soon, according to this article in Editor & Publisher. I first noticed Shepard when she wrote an article about the pair in Washingtonian magazine. To me it was the first really good look at how the two worked during this big story, with lots of quotes from coworkers. I've anticipated this book ever since.

Looking back even further, it's good to see that Myra MacPherson's book on I.F. Stone is finally coming out. Stone, singlehandedly, and over a period of nearly 20 years, published what may have been Washington's most influential newsletter, I.F. Stone's Weekly. MacPherson's book is called All Governments Lie; it required 15 years of research.

Peter Osnos reviews the book: What would Izzy say?.

Interesting that in the blog world over the last few years, I've seen several references to Stone and blogging, with some calling him the 'first political blogger'. Some examples:
Scott Henson, in Grits for Breakfast, arguing in 2004 that Stone was in contention to be considered the greatest American investigative journalist, edging out Sy Hersh:
In a way, Stone was a proto-blogger. His I.F. Stone's Weekly was relatively short and punchy, and it only went to folks who particularly wanted it -- he didn't rely on mass distribution, but niche targeting.
...Stone's methodology spawned the type of blogger's journalism method where one takes information already out there, and with one's own research adds value to it, reprocesses it, and kicks it back out into the public arena for more debate and vetting. They didn't call Izzy Stone the father of modern investigative journalism for nothing.

Then there was Evan Jones, a year ago in Counterpunch: The Relevance of I.F. Stone.
Izzy Stone was a natural-born blogger. Except that he was born before the age of the pc and the web.

I'm just sorry that I'll be missing my longtime friend Myra's book reading in Miami at Books and Books next week.


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