Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive logo

Guide to the Dissent Magazine Records  TAM.642

Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY, 10012
(212) 998-2630
tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive

Collection processed by Heather Mulliner

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on March 25, 2016 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Updated by Molly Davy to reflect removal of microfilm  , March 2016

Descriptive Summary

 
Title: Dissent Magazine Records
Dates [inclusive]: 1952-2013
Abstract: Dissent is a quarterly magazine that provides political commentary from intellectuals on the political left. This collection is largely comprised of  Dissent's editorial board and administrative records, which contain documentation of editorial decisions from the 1950s to the early 2000s, including correspondence among editorial board members and minutes from board meetings. The collection also contains the personal papers of Emanuel Geltman, who was one of  Dissent's founding members. Other materials in this collection include indices of  Dissent issues in the 1990s, pamphlets, and scrapbooks documenting the development of the magazine, photographs, and audio visual recordings of special events.
Quantity: 9.0 linear feet 9 record cartons
Location note: Materials are located at the Tamiment Library.
Language of Materials note: Materials are in English
Call Phrase: TAM.642

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Historical/Biographical Note

Dissent is a quarterly magazine of political and social criticism. Founded in 1954 by Irving Howe, Emanuel Geltman, and Stanley Plastrik,  Dissent has published articles critiquing the political ideologies of the left and right for over 60 years. Informed by democratic socialist ideology and intellectuals on the political left,  Dissent's founders positioned the magazine in contrast to the liberalism of the West and communism of the East. Although  Dissent identifies itself with the democratic socialism of its founders, its editors and contributors represent a broad spectrum of political outlooks. Since its formation it has published articles by a number of prominent intellectuals including Hannah Arendt, Norman Mailer, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Ellen Willis, Richard Wright, George Packer, as well as many others.

Irving Howe served as Dissent’s first editor from 1954 until his death in 1993. Following Howe’s death, Mitchell Cohen and Michael Walzer served as co-editors of the magazine until 2013. The current editor of  Dissent magazine is historian Michael Kazin.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection contains the records of Dissent magazine, a quarterly publication that offers political and social commentary from intellectuals on the political left. A large portion of  Dissent's records relate to editorial board decisions and administrative procedures. The collections also contains several indices of  Dissent issues in the 1990s, pamphlets, and scrapbooks documenting the development of the magazine.

The collection's editorial board records contain correspondence and meeting minutes from the 1950s to the early 2000s, as well as materials relating to the formation of the magazine's non-profit organization the Foundation for the Study of Independent Social Ideas (FSISI) in 1980. It also contains several records relating to the founding of Dissent in 1954, including the magazines' original business license and documentation of their first bank account. Administrative files largely relate to the day-to-day activities of the magazine, including the creation of  Dissent's website and archive. Several files relating to the creation of the  Dissent archive contain correspondence documenting the magazine's attempt to compile documentation related to founding member and longtime editor Irving Howe. Several of these files contain photocopies of Howe's correspondence with  Dissent writers.

This collection also contains a series of papers from Dissent editorial board member Emanuel Geltman. These papers largely relate to Geltman's political activity prior to his involvement with  Dissent.

Other materials contained in this collection include video recordings of conferences and lectures and promotional materials related to special events.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into series by subject and creator.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Cohen, Mitchell
  • Emanuel, Geltman, 1914-1995
  • Howe, Irving.
  • Kazin, Michael
  • Walzer, Michael

Subject Organizations

  • Dissent (New York, N.Y.).
  • Foundation for the Study of Independent Socal Ideas, Inc. (New York).

Subject Topics

  • Journalism -- United States.

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Administrative Information

Custodial History note

The Emanuel Geltman Papers were donated to the Foundation for the Study of Independent Social Ideas/Dissent in 2008. These materials were donated to the Tamiment Library in 2014 as part of Dissent's records.

Access Restrictions

Open for research without restrictions.

Use Restrictions

Copyright to materials in this collection created by donor are held by donor. Permission to publish or reproduce materials to which s/he holds copyright must be secured from the Tamiment Library and the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Collection name; Collection number; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Dissent Magazine sent a gift of 12 linear feet of records in 2014. The accession number associated with this gift is 2014.004.

Processing Information note

Materials have been broken into series by subject or by creator. A number of materials including the subscriptions, permissions, and other documents containing sensitive personal information have been separated from this collection.

In 2014, the archived website was added as a series.

Appraisal note

Three boxes containing subscription materials, permissions, and other documents containing sensitive personal information have been separated from this collection.

Correspondence and materials related to the donation of Henry M. Patcher's papers to SUNY Albany, which includes a copy of the deed of gift were also separated from this collection for confidentiality reasons.

Microfilmed copies of Dissent, 1990-2010 were removed from this collection due to existing duplicate issues in Tamiment's collections.

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Container List

Box
1-2
 

Editorial Board Records

Scope and Content Note

This series contains the files of the Dissent editorial board. Correspondence and board meeting minutes make up the majority of this series. This series also contains several documents related to the formation of  Dissent between 1952-1953 as well as materials related to the magazine's non-profit organization the Foundation for the Study of Independent Social Ideas, which was formed in 1980. Other materials contained in this series include materials related to conferences and special issues.

Box
3-5
 

Administrative Files

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of Dissent's administrative files which contain correspondence, subject files, promotional and fundraising materials, materials related to the creation of magazine's website, and documents and correspondence related to the  Dissent archive. Subject files and correspondence are arranged alphabetically, while other files are grouped by subject. Files relating to the  Dissent archive contain correspondence related to the formation of the archive and efforts to compile correspondence from founding member and longtime editor Irving Howe. Several a number of these materials contain photocopies of Howe's correspondence with  Dissent contributors.

Box
7
 

Emanuel Geltman Papers, 1949-1985

Scope and Content Note

This series contains materials and writings from Emanuel Geltman, who was a member of Dissent's editorial board for many years. The majority of Geltman's materials relate to his political involvement in socialism in the 1930s and 1940s, prior to the formation of  Dissent, while a small number of materials relate to the 1970s and 80s.

Box
4
 

Indices, 1990s

Box
4
 

Pamphlets, 1978-1995

Scope and Content Note

This series contains copies of Democracy Journal from 1981 to 1983, as well as a number of assorted pamphlets from the late 1970s to 1990s.

Box
6
 

Special Events and Memorabilia, 1954-2013

Scope and Content Note

This series contains several scrapbooks documenting Dissent magazine's development from 1954-1989 and other assorted memorabilia related to special events such as parties and anniversaries.

Box
6
 

Photographs, circa 1970s-2002. 4.0 folders

Scope and Content Note

This series contains assorted photographs of Irving Howe and Michael Walzer. It also contains several photographs from a panel discussion on media bias from 2002.

Box
9
 

Electronic Records, 1990-2010

Multimedia, 1989-2002

Scope and Content Note

Contians recordings of special events, conferences and interviews 1990s-2000

Box
8
 

Videorecordings

Box
8
 

Cassette tapes

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Archived Website, May 5, 2012-ongoing

Scope and Content Note

Dissent Magazine, founded in 1954 by Irving Howe, is a quarterly leftist/social democratic intellectual magazine of politics and culture edited by Michael Kazin and Michael Walzer. Dissent’s website contains direct links to articles from current issues and back issues, a blog, online articles, videos, and topical issues.

Archived Website, May 5, 2012-ongoing

[http://webarchives.cdlib.org/site/sw1b56f717]

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