The Port Huron Statement
The Dude abides this historic document of American radicalism
The Visionary Call of the 1960s Revolution
By Tom Hayden
Thunder’s Mouth Press
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 is one of those historic documents which represents an era. It excited, educated, and inspired a whole generation of young people to join the struggle against racial injustice, war, poverty, and the loss of true democracy. Tom Hayden’s introductory essay is a brilliant exposition on who those words of 1962 have critical meaning for the world we live in now.”–Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States
|Dimensions||8.25 × 5.5 × 0.5 in|