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Dissent Magazine is a quarterly magazine of politics and culture edited by Michael Kazin and Michael Walzer. A magazine of the left, Dissent is also one of independent minds and strong opinions. "A pillar of leftist intellectual provocation," writes the New York Times, Dissent is "devoted to slaying orthodoxies on the right and on the left." Adds historian John Patrick Diggins, "Dissent is kind of an anomaly...a magazine that's all heart and good hope."[1]


Founded in 1954 by a group of "independent-minded radicals", the magazine set out to "dissent from the bleak atmosphere of conformism that pervades the political and intellectual life of the United States ...The accent of Dissent will be radical. Its tradition will be the tradition of democratic socialism." Inspired by their opposition to both McCarthyism and communism, its early editors "wanted to speak for the spirit of democratic utopianism that runs like a bright thread through America's intellectual life."

Quickly establishing itself as one of America's leading intellectual journals, it published articles by Hannah Arendt, Erich Fromm, Paul Goodman, Günter Grass, Michael Harrington, Dwight MacDonald, C. Wright Mills, Czeslaw Milosz, Norman Mailer, Amos Oz, Richard Rorty, Ignazio Silone, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cornel West, Ellen Willis, Richard Wright, and many other prominent writers.

Edited by Irving Howe until his death in 1993, the magazine has continued to uphold the banner of critical independence he set forth in his 1954 Partisan Review essay, "This Age of Conformity": "The most glorious vision of the intellectual life is still that which is loosely called humanist: the idea of a mind committed yet dispassionate, ready to stand alone, curious, eager, skeptical. The banner of critical independence, ragged and torn though it may be, is still the best we have."[2]


1954 founding personnel

Dissent Magazine was founded in 1954. Early personnel included[3];

Editorial Board:

1954 Contributing Editors:

2009 Masthead

The 2009 Dissent Magazine masthead[4] included;

Editorial board:


Democratic Socialists of America

On June 13, 2002 Boston Democratic Socialists of America presented its 25th Annual Debs–Thomas–Bernstein Awards to "leaders who fight for democracy, here at home and around the world". State Representatives Pat Jehlen and Anne Paulsen, Co-Chairs of the Progressive Legislators Group received the award. Ellen Feingold, the earliest known recipient (1979) spoke on the history of the organization. David Knuttunen and Susan Davidoff were benefactors of the reception. Dissent was a patron of the reception.[5]


1990 "European Revolutions" issue

Special issue of Dissent on The European Revolutions with contributions by Daniel Bell, James Tobin, Jerzy Surdykowski, Mitchell Cohen, Bogdan Denitch, Robert Dahl, Vladimir Tismaneanu, Paul Joseph, Gordon Haskell, Josephine Woll, Lewis Coser.[6]

1994 40th Anniversary issue

Joanne Barkan, Paul Berman, Lewis Coser, Todd Gitlin, Martin Kilson, Ann Snitow, Cornel West, Sean Wilentz, Marshall Berman, Bogdan Denitch, Jonathan Frankel, Erazim Kohak, Tadeusz Kowalik, Tom Nairn, Anna Coote, David Brody, Rashi Fein, Agnes Heller, Paul Hirst, and Deborah Meier.[7]

Winter 1995

Summer 1995


  1. http://www.dissentmagazine.org/display.php?id=about About Dissent, Dissent website, accessed may 18, 2010
  2. http://www.dissentmagazine.org/display.php?id=about About Dissent, Dissent website, accessed may 18, 2010
  3. http://dissentmagazine.org/files/winter1954.pdf
  4. http://www.dissentmagazine.org/display.php?id=masthead
  5. The Yankee Radical, Sep./Oct. 2002
  7. Dem. Left, Nov./Dec. 1993, page 8
  8. Dem. Left Jan./Feb. 1995, page 21