Port Huron Statement: Sources and Legacies of the New Left's Founding Manifesto

Port Huron Statement: Sources and Legacies of the New Left's Founding Manifesto

Port Huron Statement: Sources and Legacies of the New Left's Founding Manifesto

Port Huron Statement: Sources and Legacies of the New Left's Founding Manifesto

Synopsis

The Port Huron Statement was the most important manifesto of the New Left student movement of the 1960s. Initially drafted by Tom Hayden and debated over the course of three days in 1962 at a meeting of student leaders, the statement was issued by Students for a Democratic Society as their founding document. Its key idea, "participatory democracy," proved a watchword for Sixties radicalism that has also reemerged in popular protests from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street.

Featuring essays by some of the original contributors as well as prominent scholars who were influenced by the manifesto, The Port Huron Statement probes the origins, content, and contemporary influence of the document that heralded the emergence of a vibrant New Left in American culture and politics. Opening with an essay by Tom Hayden that provides a sweeping reflection on the document's enduring significance, the volume explores the diverse intellectual and cultural roots of the Statement, the uneasy dynamics between liberals and radicals that led to and followed this convergence, the ways participatory democracy was defined and deployed in the 1960s, and the continuing resonances this idea has for political movements today. An appendix includes a complete facsimile of the original document.

The Port Huron Statement offers a vivid portrait of a unique moment in the history of radicalism, showing that the ideas that inspired a generation of young radicals more than a half a century ago are just as important and provocative today.

Contributors: Robert Cohen, Richard Flacks, Jennifer Frost, Daniel Geary, Barbara Haber, Grace Elizabeth Hale, Tom Hayden, Michael Kazin, Nelson Lichtenstein, Jane Mansbridge, Lisa McGirr, James Miller, Robert J. S. Ross, Michael Vester, Erik Olin Wright.

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