- For the Australian magazine, see Dissent (Australian magazine).
Cover of Winter 2013 issue
|First issue||Winter 1954|
|Company||University of Pennsylvania Press|
|Based in||New York City, New York|
Dissent is a quarterly magazine focusing on politics and culture edited by Michael Kazin. The magazine is published by the University of Pennsylvania Press on behalf of the Foundation for the Study of Independent Social Ideas.
The magazine was established in 1954 by a group of New York Intellectuals, which included Irving Howe, Lewis A. Coser, Henry Pachter, Norman Mailer, A.J. Muste, George Woodcock, and Meyer Schapiro. Dissent set out to "dissent from the bleak atmosphere of conformism that pervades the political and intellectual life of the United States." From its inception, Dissent's politics deviated from the standard ideological positions of the left and right. Like politics and the French socialist magazine Socialisme ou Barbarie, Dissent sought to formulate a third position between the liberalism of the West and the communism of the East. Troubled by the rampant bureaucratization of both capitalist and communist society, Dissent was home to writers--like the anarchist George Woodcock and social critic C. Wright Mills--who identified themselves more as radical democrats as well as to a variety of writers and editors who--like Irving Howe and Michael Harrington--more closely identified with democratic socialism.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Dissent’s skepticism toward Third World revolutions, national liberation theories, and the culture of the New Left occasionally isolated it from student movements. But its commitment to both pluralist and egalitarian politics — in particular, when it came to social and civil rights issues — separated it from both the mainstream liberalism and the growing neoconservative movement.
Although Dissent still identifies itself with the democratic socialism of its founders, its editors and contributors represent a broad spectrum of political outlooks. For example, Dissent editors and writers disagreed regarding the U.S. invasion of Iraq. In a symposium in early 2003, two respondents (including co-editor Mitchell Cohen) supported the war while six (including co-editor Michael Walzer) opposed it.
- Official website
- Dissent at the University of Pennsylvania Press
- The New York Times on Dissent
- "A Modest Utopia: Sixty Years of Dissent" in the New Yorker