The American Dissident: Literature, Democracy & Dissidence

Essays of Critical Wisdom

It is surprising how much, from the habit of regarding writing as an accomplishment, is wasted on form. A very little information or wit is mixed up with a great deal of conventionalism in the style of expressing it, as with a sort of preponderating paste or vehicle. Some life is not simply expressed, but a long-winded speech is made, with an occasional attempt to put a little life into it. 

—Henry David Thoreau

The essays (and books) enumerated on the right-hand column help illustrate the raison d'être of The American Dissident. Some are written by centrists, while others by left or right-wing authors. The editor culled them from extensive readings over the decades. Read some or all of them, if you haven't already. Most of them were written by well-known authors.


Most authors seem to produce a vast flurry of writing, where little is really said. They write to entertain readers, who merely want to be entertained and otherwise diverted from life's harsh realities. Little, if any, wisdom at all is depicted in the tonnage of writing. The following essays contain wisdom and represent the rare, the very rare.