This concise collection of primary sources presents the story of US History as told by dissenters who, throughout the course of American history, have fought to gain rights they believed were denied to them or others, or who disagreed with the government or majority opinion.
Each document is introduced by placing it in its historical context, and thought-provoking questions are provided to focus the student when s/he reads the text. Instructors are at liberty to choose the documents that best highlight themes they wish to emphasize.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Professor Ralph Young's book Dissent in America is a remarkable journey through American History using dissent as the theme, which, as the author points out, "has played a central role in the American experience". The book is much more than a compendium of writings on dissent. The author's clear and concise introduction to each reading creates the thread that ties that reading to what was happening in the country. There is a wealth of information in this volume. One can read Abigail Adams' letters to her husband, off writing the Constitution, asking that women be remembered in the document (he condescendingly brushes her off). Every major dissenter from Roger Williams to Cindy Sheehan is represented in this book Of course, for this writer the best part of Dissent in America is the 1960s (mostly because he lived through them). Be sure to read all of "Mobilization: Vietnam and the Counterculture, 1964-1975". This is an excellent resume of the protests and songs and manifestos...
This excellent, exhaustive anthology includes the great essays and documents written by dissenters from before the founding of the colonies to the present time. The author has done a fine job of providing a narrative history of the United States through the ideas and ideals of famous and little known Americans who exercised their cherished right to express themselves about the state of the country. Included are all the important themes--abolition, civil rights, women's rights, anti-war, taxation, etc.--that define America. A good feature is that it includes dissent from the Right and the left.
This hefty collection is ideal for discussion groups and college courses or for keeping on a nightstand to be read at leisure. At a time when our rights as citizens are being questioned and tested, this is an inspiring and comforting work, which emphasizes that dissent is older than the United States and a privilege and obligation of its citizens.
I've always been fond of books that dealt with hidden and little-known history. This is a good example of such.
Essentailly, you have documents from American history going all the way back the 1600s that involve people who went against the status quo.
In one book, you have antislavery Quakers and abolitionists, early feminists, American Indians speaking out against their oppression, American Loyalists during the American Revoution and Union loyalists from the South during the civil war, populists, Black Panthers, socilaists, racists, archconservatives, anarchists, and anti war activists from just about every war including the current one. All speak in their own voice.
Of course no one will agree with everything said here, but it's good to bring these people's words to light to put the struggles of our own time in their proper context.
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