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

Edited by Richard Flacks and Nelson Lichtenstein

344 pages | 6 x 9
Cloth 2015 | ISBN 9780812246926 | $55.00s | Outside the Americas £44.00
Ebook editions are available from selected online vendors
A volume in the series Politics and Culture in Modern America
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"A wonderful volume—thoughtful, provocative, and entertaining. The all-star cast of contributors is truly impressive, filled with thoughtful activists and activist scholars."—David S. Meyer, University of California, Irvine

"This very fine collection on the Port Huron Statement and its key concept of 'participatory democracy' reminds us of how radicals and liberals might have walked together toward a boldly reshaped America. The volume is seasoned and insightful, yielding sterling original contributions that celebrate the Port Huron Statement while providing critical perspective informed by an acute sense that the program was not immediately realized."—Christopher Phelps, University of Nottingham

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 the complete text 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 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.

Richard Flacks is Research Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is author of Making History: The American Left and the American Mind and coauthor of Playing for Change: Music and Musicians in the Service of Social Movements.

Nelson Lichtenstein is MacArthur Foundation Professor in History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is editor of American Capitalism: Social Thought and Political Economy in the Twentieth Century and coeditor of The Right and Labor in America: Politics, Ideology, and Imagination, both available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

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