Democracy Is in the Streets: From Port Huron to the Siege of Chicago, With a New Preface by the Author / Edition 2

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On June 12, 1962, sixty young student activists drafted a manifesto for their generation—The Port Huron Statement—that ignited a decade of dissent. Democracy Is in the Streets is the definitive history of the major people and ideas that shaped the New Left in America during that turbulent decade. Because the 1960s generation is now moving into positions of power in politics, education, the media, and business, their early history is crucial to our understanding. James Miller, in his new Preface, puts the 1960s and them into a context for our time, claiming that something of value did happen: "Most of the large questions raised by that moment of chaotic openness—political questions about the limits of freedom, and cultural questions, too, about the authority of the past and the anarchy of the new—are with us still."
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Editorial Reviews

New York Review of Books - Alan Brinkley
Careful, perceptive, and elegant.
New York Times Book Review - Hendrik Hertzberg
[An] excellent account...[by] an accomplished writer...Accurate, sympathetic, critical, learned...The leaders of the next [student] revolt will do well to read Mr. Miller's fine book--for inspiration, and for admonition too.
New Republic - Paul Berman
Brilliant...Original and astute...Anyone interested in American political thought will want to study this analysis.
Washington Post Book World - Allen J. Matusow
Excellent...well written...makes a substantial contribution to the literature on the New Left.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 1962, at Port Huron, Mich., Tom Hayden led members of Students for a Democratic Society in drafting a manifesto advocating participatory democracy. ``The Port Huron Statement'' became a beacon to student activists and civil rights workers during the 1960s. Miller, an ex-SDS member and author of Rousseau: Dreamer of Democracy, argues here that the Port Huron proclamation owes as much to Quaker practices, John Dewey's pragmatism and civic republican philosophy as it does to Karl Marx. In charting the history of the New Left through the lives of a handful of SDS leaders, this highly personal chronicle sometimes lacks balance and loses sight of the broader political context. The participatory spirit of Port Huron lives on, maintains Miller, in current efforts to democratize all areas of life, from the workplace to the family. An appendix reprints the 63-page ``Port Huron Statement.'' (May 21)
Library Journal
This excellent study is an important addition to our understanding of the New Left of the 1960s. Tracing the birth, development, and demise of SDS (Students for a Democratic Society), it focuses on key individualsTom Hayden, Dick Flacks, Sharon Jeffrey, et al. It tells their story and that of their organization, its guiding document ``The Port Huron Statement,'' and its call for ``participatory democracy''an ambiguous phrase which nonetheless signified the spirit of SDS and provided a mechanism to recruit, convince, and convert. Miller writes sympathetically but not uncritically about ``a mass movement to change America'' that briefly flourished, touched countless lives and institutions, and continues to influence politics in the 1980s. Strongly recommended. John R. Sillito, Weber State Coll. Lib., Ogden, Utah
A history of the New Left in America during the 1960s, from the drafting of the Port Huron manifesto to the activities of the Students for a Democratic Society. Includes the complete text of the original Port Huron Statement. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674197251
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 9/20/1994
  • Edition description: 1st Harvard University Press paperback e
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 992,999
  • Product dimensions: 0.90 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

James Miller, Professor of Political Science and Director of Liberal Studies at the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, is the author of The Passion of Michel Foucault and Rousseau: Dreamer of Democracy.
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Table of Contents

Preface: The 1960s in the 1990s 1
Introduction: Port Huron and the Lost History of the New Left 11
Ch. 1 Out of Apathy 21
Ch. 2 On the Road 41
Ch. 3 Politics and Vision 65
Ch. 4 The Prophet of the Powerless 78
Ch. 5 Building a House of Theory 92
Ch. 6 Port Huron 106
Ch. 7 Beyond the Cold War 126
Ch. 8 Participatory Democracy 141
Ch. 9 An Intellectual in Search of a Strategy 157
Ch. 10 An Organizer in Search of Authenticity 184
Ch. 11 A Leader in Search of Legitimacy 218
Ch. 12 A Moralist in Search of Power 260
Conclusion: A Collective Dream 315
Appendix: The Port Huron Statement 329
A Note on Sources 375
Notes 379
Acknowledgments 415
Index 417
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