Thursday, February 11, 2010

Interview with Ira Stoll.

I just had the pleasure of interviewing Ira Stoll, the Author of Samuel Adams : A Life and the former Managing Editor for the New York Sun. Ira is now involved in a new project, which we discussed in the interview below. We at Jumping in Pools thank Mr.Stoll for valuable time. This is number 58 in our interview series.

Tim Knight - Mr.Stoll, Samuel Adams : A Life offers a unique viewpoint into the mindset of one of the most important American revolutionaries, however, he is never remembered as such. What is your opinion of the "historical lack" of information and praise for Samuel Adams, when compared to other Founders.

Ira Stoll - “Never” is probably overstating it a bit, though he does seem to get less attention than some of the other founders and less than, in my opinion, he deserves. In the book’s conclusion, I give at least five reasons why: he left behind a relatively scant written record, he never held national office as president, vice president, or Treasury secretary, he’s been falsely associated with mob violence, he’s seen as too old-fashioned or religious, and he wasn’t rich or scientifically inclined.

Tim Knight - Mr.Stoll, Samuel Adams was an opponent of slavery, however, it appears that is a passage note lost to history, what are your thoughts?

Ira Stoll - I got into this question a bit in an op-ed piece I wrote for the New York Daily News. The link is here. Samuel Adams hoped that slavery would be abolished in all of America as it was in Massachusetts after the adoption of the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 that Adams helped write and get passed. He believed that the human capability for freedom was universal.

Tim Knight - Mr.Stoll, while serving as managing editor of the New York Sun, what was the grind of managing a newspaper, meeting a deadline and operative a respected publication?

Ira Stoll - It was a lot of work, but it was fun, too. Just for the record, I was managing editor. The editor was Seth Lipsky. He and the rest of the Sun team helped to make it less work and more fun.

Tim Knight - Mr.Stoll, could you venture back into the Newspaper business?

Ira Stoll - I still write articles that appear in newspapers from time to time. And I’m open to offers. But my own bet is that the news business has a more promising future than the newspaper business, so I’m concentrating my efforts now online with

Tim Knight - Mr.Stoll, please tell us about the political organization/website you have launched as of late, Future of Capitalism and what the goals of the organization are.

Ira Stoll - is a Web site that provides news, information, opinion, and a forum for discussion about the interaction of business and government and the future of capitalism, broadly defined. The goal is to save readers time and to help them understand the world around them by gathering, processing, analyzing, and sharing news and information about the future of capitalism, and for providing a forum for comment and discussion on that topic. Other goals of the site include making a profit and defending freedom. I hope that your readers will check it out, sign up for the free daily e-mail, and make it a regular stop on the Web.

Tim Knight - Mr.Stoll, based on your own opinions; what does the future of Capitalism hold?

Ira Stoll - I think the future of capitalism is promising because it’s the best system anyone has yet devised for creating growth, progress, and prosperity and for respecting the rights of individuals. That said, the last couple years have been a rough patch. But both the political and economic systems have pretty robust ways of self-correcting.

Tim Knight - Mr.Stoll, should Kudlow run for Senate?

Ira Stoll - I’ve suggested that maybe he can try running in both Connecticut and New York and have two votes. My main thought about Kudlow is that I’d like him to have me on his television program more often.

Tim Knight - Mr.Stoll, how should the GOP go about recruiting Jewish Americans into our Party?

Ira Stoll - I deal with this question a bit in my review of Norman Podhoretz’s book “Why Are Jews Liberals”? The link is here , and one key point is that the Republican presidents should stop doing foolish things that annoy Jewish voters, things like selling AWACs to Saudi Arabia or condemning Israel for bombing Iraq’s nuclear reactor. I’m not really in the business of giving advice to political parties. But if I were, I would make two other observations. The first is that most of us Jews aren’t all that different from the rest of Americans, and that any political party – Republican, Democrat, Tea — should spend not much time crafting a message narrowly aimed at Jews, but a lot of time crafting a message that is attractive and welcoming to a broad swathe of Americans. Second, it’s a two-step process. Before a lot of Jews will think about registering as Republicans, they’ll first have to get comfortable as independent or Democratic voters crossing over and voting for Republicans. Mayor Giuliani and Governor Pataki in New York made some real progress on this front, as did Jeb Bush in Florida. The more frequently that non-Republican Jewish voters vote for Republican candidates, the greater the likelihood they will finally go a step beyond and change their party registration. I do think that a lot of Americans are fed up right now with both of the two major political parties. Personally, I’m a registered independent.

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1 comment:

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