Talk about a jaw-dropper. The favorite book of an American presidential candidate was written by a radical journalist described in a Soviet document as an “agent of influence.” CBS Evening News last night ran its weekly special, “Primary Questions: Character, Leadership and the Candidates.” Katie Couric’s question to the presidential candidates was, “If you were elected president, what is the one book-- other than the Bible-- you would think is essential to have along?” John Edwards chose I.F. Stone’s “The Trial of Socrates,” because “he talks in a very thoughtful way about the challenges that are faced by men about character, about integrity, and about belief systems. And, uh, and the book – I’ve read it several times. It’s had an impact on me.” Kind of makes you wonder what else the 2004 Democratic Vice Presidential nominee likes to read. Edwards has reportedly dropped out of the 2008 race today. For the generationally challenged, I.F. Stone was a radical journalist who wrote for an assortment of far-left publications, including “The Nation.” He was best known for “I.F. Stone’s Weekly,” which ran from 1953 to 1971, and achieved prominence in the Sixties. An outspoken critic of the Vietnam War, Stone also suggested in his infamous book, “Hidden History of the Korean War,” that South Korea started the war by attacking North Korea first. Historians have charged that Stone worked with the Soviets and may have been a paid agent, an accusation angrily denounced by the American left.Allegedly recruited during World War II, Stone reportedly stormed out of a lunch meeting with a Soviet press attaché (and KGB agent) named Kalugin after the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968. Kalugin told a British journalist that Stone said he “would never again take any money from us.” In a later interview, Kalugin told the journalist Stone meant he would never allow the Soviets to pick up the check for lunch again. From the January 29 "Evening News":
KATIE COURIC, anchor: Coming up next, reading their minds. Tonight's "Primary Question."COURIC: It's true, you can't judge a book by its cover. But you can tell a lot about a person by the books he or she reads. Tonight, we continue our series "Primary Questions: Character, Leadership & the Candidates." We asked the men and woman running for president the same ten questions. Tonight, the candidates by the book. If you were elected president, what is the one book-- other than the Bible-- you would think is essential to have along?
Skipping to the Edwards response:
Former Sen. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC): Probably would be I.F. Stone's book "The Trial of Socrates." COURIC: Why? EDWARDS: Because he talks in a very thoughtful way about the challenges that are faced by men about character, about integrity, and about belief systems. And, uh, and the book - I've read it several times. It's had an impact on me.