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Finalist, 2016 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award One of Bustle's Books For Your Civil Disobedience Reading List Examines the key role dissent has played in shaping the United States, emphasizing the way Americans responded to injustices Dissent: The History of an American Idea examines the key role dissent has played in shaping the United States. It focuses on those who, from coloni Finalist, 2016 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award One of Bustle's Books For Your Civil Disobedience Reading List Examines the key role dissent has played in shaping the United States, emphasizing the way Americans responded to injustices Dissent: The History of an American Idea examines the key role dissent has played in shaping the United States. It focuses on those who, from colonial days to the present, dissented against the ruling paradigm of their time: from the Puritan Anne Hutchinson and Native American chief Powhatan in the seventeenth century, to the Occupy and Tea Party movements in the twenty-first century. The emphasis is on the way Americans, celebrated figures and anonymous ordinary citizens, responded to what they saw as the injustices that prevented them from fully experiencing their vision of America. At its founding the United States committed itself to lofty ideals. When the promise of those ideals was not fully realized by all Americans, many protested and demanded that the United States live up to its promise. Women fought for equal rights; abolitionists sought to destroy slavery; workers organized unions; Indians resisted white encroachment on their land; radicals angrily demanded an end to the dominance of the moneyed interests; civil rights protestors marched to end segregation; antiwar activists took to the streets to protest the nation's wars; and reactionaries, conservatives, and traditionalists in each decade struggled to turn back the clock to a simpler, more secure time. Some dissenters are celebrated heroes of American history, while others are ordinary people: frequently overlooked, but whose stories show that change is often accomplished through grassroots activism. The United States is a nation founded on the promise and power of dissent. In this stunningly comprehensive volume, Ralph Young shows us its history.


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Finalist, 2016 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award One of Bustle's Books For Your Civil Disobedience Reading List Examines the key role dissent has played in shaping the United States, emphasizing the way Americans responded to injustices Dissent: The History of an American Idea examines the key role dissent has played in shaping the United States. It focuses on those who, from coloni Finalist, 2016 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award One of Bustle's Books For Your Civil Disobedience Reading List Examines the key role dissent has played in shaping the United States, emphasizing the way Americans responded to injustices Dissent: The History of an American Idea examines the key role dissent has played in shaping the United States. It focuses on those who, from colonial days to the present, dissented against the ruling paradigm of their time: from the Puritan Anne Hutchinson and Native American chief Powhatan in the seventeenth century, to the Occupy and Tea Party movements in the twenty-first century. The emphasis is on the way Americans, celebrated figures and anonymous ordinary citizens, responded to what they saw as the injustices that prevented them from fully experiencing their vision of America. At its founding the United States committed itself to lofty ideals. When the promise of those ideals was not fully realized by all Americans, many protested and demanded that the United States live up to its promise. Women fought for equal rights; abolitionists sought to destroy slavery; workers organized unions; Indians resisted white encroachment on their land; radicals angrily demanded an end to the dominance of the moneyed interests; civil rights protestors marched to end segregation; antiwar activists took to the streets to protest the nation's wars; and reactionaries, conservatives, and traditionalists in each decade struggled to turn back the clock to a simpler, more secure time. Some dissenters are celebrated heroes of American history, while others are ordinary people: frequently overlooked, but whose stories show that change is often accomplished through grassroots activism. The United States is a nation founded on the promise and power of dissent. In this stunningly comprehensive volume, Ralph Young shows us its history.

30 review for Dissent: The History of an American Idea

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gene

    jam packed with stories of American history and the thought leaders who shaped this great nation--some well known, others nearly lost to the sands of time if not for Ralph Young. Dissent is to America, what The Force is to the Star Wars universe. it's what binds us and hold us together. not what tears us apart. jam packed with stories of American history and the thought leaders who shaped this great nation--some well known, others nearly lost to the sands of time if not for Ralph Young. Dissent is to America, what The Force is to the Star Wars universe. it's what binds us and hold us together. not what tears us apart.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Written a bit too biased for my taste, but the chapter on the Civil Rights Movement is phenomenal. I may give some more coherent thoughts later, when I get some sleep.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Blyden

    A solid, 500+ page history of the United States written around the theme of dissent and organized in chronological eras. It makes a good pairing with Howard Zinn's People's History. The two cover similar material insofar as dissent, Young's topic, tends to occur in response to oppression and injustice, which are Zinn's topics, but where a history of oppression and injustice tends necessarily toward condemning the oppressors, and Zinn gives free rein to that sentiment, Young's lauding of the valu A solid, 500+ page history of the United States written around the theme of dissent and organized in chronological eras. It makes a good pairing with Howard Zinn's People's History. The two cover similar material insofar as dissent, Young's topic, tends to occur in response to oppression and injustice, which are Zinn's topics, but where a history of oppression and injustice tends necessarily toward condemning the oppressors, and Zinn gives free rein to that sentiment, Young's lauding of the value of dissent and courage of dissenters does not require as severe or quite as one-sided regard for what they were dissenting. But neither is it as thought-provoking and interesting as Zinn's work. As one gets to the 1960s and later sections of the book, one will detect a subtle change in the author's tone and the attention to specific individuals, going from historian looking at a past removed from personal experience to historian telling history he himself has lived in and has deep personal interest in. I love the concept of history written around dissent. To a large extent I identify with the values I see in and behind this work. I concur with the author's premise that there may not be any value more fundamentally "American" than respect for the right to dissent. That appreciation of dissent is at the core of what it means to be American and that those within our nation who oppose dissent merely for the sake of opposing dissent or preserving traditions are among our nation's worst enemies. That said, I do not see any great revelation in this text. I did learn things I didn't know, but much of the content should be familiar, at least in a general way, to those familiar with U.S. history. I see this as a book to be consulted from time to time when one wishes to remind oneself of historical details of a dissent movement, a book for the civil libertarian, and also as a book teens and college students might read to get an "unauthorized" history of the United States to contrast with the "authorized" version they got in grade school and high school.

  4. 5 out of 5

    R.J. Gilmour

    "My goal has been to write a narrative history of the United States from the standpoint of those who do not see eye to eye with the powers that be, from the standpoint of those who marched to the beat of a different drummer constantly challenging the government to fulfill The promise laid down in the nation's founding documents." 2 "My goal has been to write a narrative history of the United States from the standpoint of those who do not see eye to eye with the powers that be, from the standpoint of those who marched to the beat of a different drummer constantly challenging the government to fulfill The promise laid down in the nation's founding documents." 2

  5. 5 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

    An outstanding, wide-ranging chronicle. Not the book to go to if you are looking for depth on a particular era or movement, but the extensive source notes and bibliography offer great recommendations for deeper reading.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Sloww goin'. Sloww goin'.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    Mostly skimmed, rather than read. Too summary-level for my interests, was hoping for more coverage of primary sources or individual stories.

  8. 5 out of 5

    S.C. Hickman

  9. 5 out of 5

    baron king

  10. 4 out of 5

    Meg Corner

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brady Postma

  12. 5 out of 5

    Martin Lund

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Votta

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jordan A. Poole

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ranjith

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Lambert

  18. 4 out of 5

    Circe

  19. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Vicknair

  20. 4 out of 5

    Osvi

  21. 4 out of 5

    MyNameIsDBZ

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  23. 5 out of 5

    John McManus

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle Janeczko

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  26. 5 out of 5

    Vincent

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lia Garcia

  28. 5 out of 5

    Maddie Bird

  29. 4 out of 5

    xDreamingOutLoud

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alison DeWitt

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