Created by Students for a Democratic Society in a small Michigan town in 1962, the Port Huron Statement has been called the most ambitious, the most specific, and the most eloquent manifesto in the history of the American Left. Now, fifty years after its drafting, principal architect Tom Hayden and the other SDS contributors revisit this seminal document and provide an original and comprehensive analysis of its historical impact andits increasing relevance to today's movements.Central to legacy of the Port Huron Statement is the fact that it introduced the concept of participatory democracy to popular discourse and practice. It made sense of the fact that ordinary people were making history and not waiting for parties or traditional organizations. That vision of a half-century ago is at the core of today's social movements. In fact, the first principle declared by the Occupy Wall Street was for a transparent and direct participatory democracy. Along with the full transcript of the Port Huron Statement, chapters written by the original framers tie its genesis to the direct action of the Freedom Riders in the segregated South and explore its influence in numerous social movements that have arisen since its creation. Including themes and events ignored by popular history and journalism, "Inspiring Participatory Democracy" illustrates how the PHS played a catalytic role in democratic reforms such as the expansion of civil and voting rights, ending the Vietnam War and military draft, oversight of the CIA and FBI, enacting environmental protection legislation, and the Freedom of Information Act.Published during the year of Port Huron's 50th anniversary and celebrated at campuses nationwide, "Inspiring Participatory Democracy" will be of great interest to readers interested in our social history, politics, and social activism.
About the Author
Tom Hayden-social activist, legislator, educator, and speaker-is the author of The Port Huron Statement, long considered the founding document of the Sixties movement. He is the author of more than 15 books including, most recently, "Voices of the Chicago 8: A Generation on Trial" (2008) and "Writings for a Democratic Society: The Tom Hayden Reader" (2008). He writes for "The Nation" and many other magazines.