Myra MacPherson, a former Washington Post reporter and author of All Government’s Lie! The Life of and Times of Rebel Journalist I.F. Stone (Scribner, 2006), was given the 2007 Ann M. Sperber Biography Award at a reception on Tuesday, Nov. 27, at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus.
MacPherson’s biography details the life of iconoclastic investigative journalist I.F. Stone, who through his self-publishedI.F. Stone’s Weekly took on everything from McCarthyism to the Vietnam War. In 1964, Stone was the only American journalist to challenge President Johnson’s account of the Gulf of Tonkin incident.
MacPherson used the occasion to urge those in attendance to learn from Stone’s tenacity and humor, and said that she would donate the money from the award to the Molly Ivins Fund for Investigative Reporting and the American Civil Liberties Union.
“For all you young people in the audience, I would like you to continue on,” she said. “As Molly [Ivins] said, ‘Give em’ hell,’ and as Izzy [Stone] said, ‘You musn’t be a martyr; you’ve got to enjoy it.”
The Sperber award, which is administered by Fordham University, is given annually to an author of a biography or autobiography of a journalist or other media figure. The award was established by a gift from Liselotte Sperber, in memory of her daughter Ann M. Sperber, who wrote the Pulitzer Prize-nominated biography of Edward R. Murrow, Murrow: His Life and Times (Fordham University Press, 1998).
MacPherson’s book was chosen by a six-member committee of experts in the field of media and communications. Previous recipients of the award include Victor Navasky, Arthur Gelb and David Nasaw.