POLEMICS AND PROPHESIES 1967-1970 by I. F. Stone


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A collection of essays surveying the sins and errors of the last three years, by the nation's tough-minded muckraker in the credibility gap. Stone dissects Nixon, McNamara, ABM, MIRV, Earth Day, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, the false meteor that was Eugene McCarthy, Pentagon budgets and the Pax Americana with a cold eye and a good deal of undiluted spleen. The recurrent theme is the creeping escalation of overkill (inflated defense budgets represent ""the socialism of the rich""), and the chimera of arms control including the desultory rhetoric of nuclear ""sufficiency"" (Eisenhower era) yielding to ""superiority"" (Kennedy's New Frontier) back again to ""sufficiency"" (Mr. Nixon). Plus ca change. . . because, ""a large military establishment must justify its existence by finding work to do."" On the domestic front Stone sees in the '68 Democratic Convention the ""triumph of what the Russian Communists call democratic centralism,"" the policies of Dulles reincarnated in Laird, the two-party system undergoing metamorphosis to the ""one-party rubber stamp,"" and Babbitt everywhere making a comeback. Although Stone has no faith in the ostensible de-Americanizing of the war he does see the administration ""beginning to Vietnamize America"" with Nixon ""as little responsive to his opposition as Thieu is to his."" Somber, armed with a formidable array of statistics, Stone shows no sign of renouncing his iconoclast role as Washington's Cassandra.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1970
Publisher: Random House