Five dissenters and deviants from the religious orthodoxy of their times are singled out and brought under scrutiny in this volume. Thomas Muntzer, Sebastian Franck George Fox, Thomas Chubb, and David Frederick Strauss are the religious figures presented-- two from the sixteenth century, who in one way or another seemed to have tried to out-reform Luther--and one each from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. Of the five, only George Fox is likely to be recognized or known by most readers; and although the author arouses some curiosity in the others and substantiates his claim that they are ""supporting actors"" in the drama of the history of the church, it seems likely that only the more studious readers of that history will be drawn to a lively interest in these men. For all that the author is able to say in their favor, the report given about them--Fox excepted--leads to the question whether they were being prophetic in a true religious sense, or merely intransigent because of their character traits. The writing draws upon a considerable scholarship and is fluid and readable. Although the author seems to be genuinely interested in his subjects, the pervading tone tends more to be that of curiosity and detachment.