Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

Arthur Weinberg and Lila Shaffer Weinberg’s Some Dissenting Voices: The Story of Six American Dissenters is a mixture of history and biography in six chapters, with each chapter featuring a different dissenter: muckraker and journalist, labor organizer and socialist, lawyer and humanist, statesman and Democrat, social worker and world citizen, agnostic and Republican. Each chapter includes a photograph of the dissenter. The authors present American history from 1833 to 1938, showing how each of these individuals influenced history and were influenced by it. The chapter contents are at times dramatic narrative and at times a mere explication of hereditary background. The Weinbergs show how certain historical situations uncovered the natures of or provided the motivations for these dissenters, whose lives were intertwined. The Weinbergs outline the personal lives of these dissenters and the history of their times clearly, truthfully, and in a readable style. Readers are provided with full portraits of the subjects, who are described within their fields and in their personal lives as well.

Four of these dissenters were involved in politics and the law. Lincoln Steffens traveled the country looking for the causes of government corruption. His investigative reporting led to the defeat of Tammany Hall and to the appointment of Theodore Roosevelt as the police commissioner of New York City. Steffens’ efforts earned for him the title of...

(The entire section is 534 words.)