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Reunion: A Memoir
     

Reunion: A Memoir

5.0 1
by Tom Hayden
 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this long, self-conscious, apologetic autobiography, Hayden, once a left-wing hero, now a California state legislator, is so busy explaining or qualifying his former radicalism that the effect is stultifying. As he tells it, he achieved a lucky balance in his metamorphosis from self-centered, messianic student organizer to liberal Democrat now ``married to a real Hollywood star Jane Fonda: a beautiful, intelligent, infinitely creative human.'' His windy recitation touches the high points of a well-publicized careerleadership of Students for a Democratic Society, community organizing in Newark, Vietnam War protests, the Columbia University student riots, the Chicago Eight conspiracy trial in 1969, his trip with Fonda to Hanoi. While Hayden notes that he was overly romantic about the Vietnamese revolution, he charges that the U.S. government bears responsibility for continuing to besiege and bleed Vietnam. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (May)
Library Journal - Library Journal
In a journey spanning more than 25 years, Hayden has gone from co-founding Students for a Democratic Society, to marriage to actress Jane Fonda, to serving in the California legislature. This political autobiography covers that tumultuous odyssey, concentrating on the 1960s. Perhaps more than any other individual, Hayden, an idealistic and pragmatic reformer, represented the early New Left. From civil rights organizing in Mississippi, to ghetto riots in Newark, to the conspiracy trial of the Chicago 8 for Vietnam War protests at the 1968 Democratic convention, Hayden was there. His well-crafted, often eloquent memoir is a vital contribution. Highly recommended. See also James Miller's ``Democracy Is in the Streets'' ( LJ 7/87) and Todd Gitlin's The Sixties (Bantam, 1987) . Gregor A. Preston, Univ. of California Lib., Davis

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780394565330
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/12/1988
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
518

Meet the Author

Author of the famed Port Huron Statement, TOM HAYDEN was a leader in the student, antiwar, and civil rights protests in the 1960s. He took up the environmental cause in the 1970s, leading campaigns to shut down nuclear power plants and serving as California's first solar energy official. He was elected to the Califorinia legislature in 1982, serving for eighteen years. He continues to write as an editor of The Nation, and has taught at many campuses from Harvard's Institute of Politics to UCLA's labor studies center.

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Reunion: A Memoir 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Tom Hayden had a noble life. One of the founders of Students for a Democratic Society, Hayden helped to desegregate the South, to end the Vietnam War, and to push LBJ and Nixon out of the White House. He should be an example to every thinking American. I started reading Hayden's excellent autobiography, "Reunion," a few days after he died. I finished it a few days after Donald Trump was elected President (with a minority of the popular vote). I couldn't help but wonder what Hayden would have thought of a guy like Trump in the White House. He surely would have worried that the progress of the last 40 years was at risk of being erased, with the ghosts of LBJ, Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover coming back to life in new guises. We'll never know for sure, as Hayden is now dead, but "Reunion" suggests that he would have fought back. He was the smartest guy in SDS and it really shows in this book. It's well-written, even moving. It's insightful, especially about the descent of the New Left from idealism to .sectarian madness. And it's relentlessly self-critical, a trait not often found in political memoirs. Anyone interested in the 1960s or the prospects for radical politics in the U.S. should get a copy and read it. Six stars.