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 and Nelson Lichtenstein
Chapter 1. Crafting the Port Huron Statement: Measuring Its Impact in the 1960s and After
PART I. INTELLECTUAL AND CULTURAL FOUNDATIONS
Chapter 2. Two Cheers for Utopia
Chapter 3. Port Huron and the Origins of the International New Left
Chapter 4. The Romance of Rebellion
—Grace Elizabeth Hale
PART II. LIBERALISM AND RADICALISM CONJOINED AND DIVIDED
Chapter 5. The New Left and Liberalism Reconsidered: The Committee of Correspondence and the Port Huron Statement
Chapter 6. A Moment of Convergence
Chapter 7. The New Left's Love-Hate Relationship with the University
PART III. PUTTING PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY INTO PRACTICE
Chapter 8. The Democratic Process at Port Huron and After
—Robert J. S. Ross
Chapter 9. A Manifesto of Hope
Chapter 10. Putting Participatory Democracy into Action
Chapter 11. Port Huron and the New Left Movements in Federal Germany
PART IV. LESSONS AND LEGACIES
Chapter 12. Did We Learn How to Make Participatory Collectives Work?
Chapter 13. Participatory Democracy and the Fate of Occupy Wall Street
Chapter 14. Radical Democracy as a Real Utopia
—Erik Olin Wright
Chapter 15. Philosophical and Political Roots of the American New Left
The Port Huron Statement
List of Contributors
"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