The photograph of three men spattered with red paint, their arms linked, marching to protest the Vietnam War, is an icon of the 1960s movement for social justice. David Dellinger is on one side, Robert Moses on the other. In the middle is Staughton Lynd, chairperson of the first march on Washington against the war, and former director of the Mississippi Freedom Schools.
Thirty years later, Staughton Lynd here reaffirms ideas central to the New Left of the sixties: nonviolence, participatory democracy, an experiential approach to education, and anti-capitalism. In essays written between 1970 and 1995, he passionately defends the intellectual contribution of a movement often dismissed as mindlessly activist. In addition, he advocates direct, sustained involvement in meeting the needs of the working class and the poor.
Each section of the book identifies major influences on Lynd's life as teacher, historian, lawyer, and organizer. In the section entitled "Accompaniment", Lynd suggests the relevance to the United States of the concepts of liberation theology which have revolutionized Central America. In "Socialism with a Human Face", he expresses continued allegiance to the socialist ideals exemplified by Simone Weft and E. P. Thompson. The final section, "Solidarity Unionism", deals with the self-activity of rank-and-file workers.
Living Inside Our Hope will reach out to everyone who remembers the Meals of the sixties with nostalgia and to those, too young to remember, who are seeking a foundation on which to build their own social activism.