Goldston was educated in Los Angeles, the Midwest and attended Columbia University between 1946 and 1953.
He served in the United States. Army, did some sailing on the Great Lakes and at one time was a science-fiction cover artist under the pseudonym James Stark for Nebula Science Fiction. (example: December 1956 and May 1957 Nebula Science Fiction) He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction in 1957-1958. A derisive description of Franco in The Civil War in Spain, “the fat fratricide sitting on a gilt throne in Madrid, staring past his stuffed Jefes into the black regions promised him by the half men bishops.. those puffed and fearful eyes that gazed paternally from the faces of newspapers and posters and postage stamps and coins” led to his being expelled and later permitted to return after the intervention of a de Vilmorin family member and Franco"s own brother.
Goldston"s prolific output of non-fiction histories lasted from 1947 to 1985.
Married Marguerite Garvey, January 16, 1956. Children: Rebecca, Gabrielle, Sarah, Francesca, Maximilian, Theresa.