Interview: Ralph Young on His New Book ‘American Patriots: A Short History of Dissent’

In this episode of our podcast The Signal, Editor Cyril Mychalejko speaks with Temple University Professor Ralph Young about the history of progressive dissent in the United States.

Ralph Young is a history professor at Temple University. He is the winner of several major teaching awards, including the College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Teaching Award, the Provost’s Award for Innovative Teaching in General Education, Honors Professor of the Year, the Lindback Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence, and Temple’s highest honor, the Great Teacher Award.

Young has taught at Temple’s Rome campus for the fall 2019 semester and has led several Education Abroad summer courses in Northern Ireland. He is the founder of the weekly campus-wide “teach-ins” at Temple in which students and faculty investigate the historical context of controversial contemporary issues.

Dr. Young’s writings have appeared in such publications as The New England QuarterlyUSA Today Magazine, the History News Network, and in blogs for the National Constitution Center, Salon, and He is frequently interviewed and quoted by such media outlets as the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Guardian, Reuters, the Associated Press, CBS, NPR, CNN, and SiriusXM. 

His book, Dissent: The History of an American Idea, a narrative history of the United States from the standpoint of dissenters and protest movements, was a finalist for the 2016 Phi Beta Kappa Ralph Waldo Emerson Award. His other books are Dissent in America: Voices That Shaped a NationMake Art Not War: Political Protest Posters from the Twentieth Century, and most recentlAmerican Patriots: A Short History of Dissent.

Today we speak with Ralph to talk about one of my favorite subjects: Dissent.

[Also listen on AppleSpotify, GoogleiHeart, and Podbean

Host Cyril Mychalejko’s 5 Book Recommendations to Further Shine a Light on the Issue 

  1. A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn
  2. Resistance Stories from Black History for Kids, by Rann Miller
  3. Direct Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism, by L.A. Kauffman
  4. American Insurgents: A Brief History of American Anti-Imperialism, by Richard Seymour
  5. Left Americana, by Paul Le Blanc


Support progressive, independent media.

Picture of Cyril Mychalejko

Cyril Mychalejko

Cyril Mychalejko is the Editor-in-Chief of the Bucks County Beacon. Read his columns on Sundays and follow him on Twitter.

Top 5

Follow Us

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

* indicates required

Our news. your inbox.

Once a week, we will send a digest of all our stories to your inbox.