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The Port Huron Statement

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The Visionary Call of the 1960s Revolution

by Tom Hayden

Four key periods in American history have most influenced what America is like today: the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War II, and the 1960s. No document better frames and explains the 1960s than The Port Huron Statement.

The statement was a generational call for direct participatory democracy in which Americans would have greater say over the decisions affecting their lives. It called for the extension of democratic principles to the workplace as well as the electoral arena. It opposed the dominance of the military-industrial complex with the hope that social movements could reform the Democrats as a party of progressive opposition. In its vision, greater democracy would lessen individuals' alienation. The manifesto’s 1962 publication preceded the phenomena of the counter-culture, hippies and back-to-the-land.

Tom Hayden, who drafted the Port Huron Statement in 1962 when he was 21 years old, was among the founders of Students for a Democratic Society, a Freedom Rider in the segregated South, a community organizer in the slums of New Jersey, an opponent of the Vietnam War who was indicted by Richard Nixon, and eventually served in the California Legislature for 18 years.

The Port Huron Statement

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The Visionary Call of the 1960s Revolution

by Tom Hayden

Four key periods in American history have most influenced what America is like today: the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War II, and the 1960s. No document better frames and explains the 1960s than The Port Huron Statement.

The statement was a generational call for direct participatory democracy in which Americans would have greater say over the decisions affecting their lives. It called for the extension of democratic principles to the workplace as well as the electoral arena. It opposed the dominance of the military-industrial complex with the hope that social movements could reform the Democrats as a party of progressive opposition. In its vision, greater democracy would lessen individuals' alienation. The manifesto’s 1962 publication preceded the phenomena of the counter-culture, hippies and back-to-the-land.

Tom Hayden, who drafted the Port Huron Statement in 1962 when he was 21 years old, was among the founders of Students for a Democratic Society, a Freedom Rider in the segregated South, a community organizer in the slums of New Jersey, an opponent of the Vietnam War who was indicted by Richard Nixon, and eventually served in the California Legislature for 18 years.

Additional Information

Author Tom Hayden
Publisher Public Affairs
Format No
Pages No
ISBN-10 1560257415
ISBN-13 978-1560257417

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