On June 12, 1962, sixty young activists met in Port Huron, Michigan, to draft a manifesto for their generation. The document they produced, The Port Huron Statement, helped spark a dramatic rebirth of the left in America--and ignited a decade of dissent. In this book, James Miller vividly re-creates the turbulent history of the people and ideas that shaped the New Left, and America, during the 1960s.


Focusing on politics and philosophy as well as personalities, Miller chronicles the careers of both the most publicized radical leaders and the less well known theorists and activists of the decade: C. Wright Mills, the sociologist who became the prophet of the powerless to a generation of students; Al Haber, the reluctant visionary who became the first president of Students for a Democratic Society; Richard Flacks, the intellectual who combined theory and practice in a new strategy for the American left; Sharon Jeffrey, who walked her first picket line at the age of five and whose dreams of community organizing took her from the campus to the inner city; Paul Booth, the precocious organizer of the first march on Washington to protest the Vietnam War; and Tom Hayden, the charismatic anti-leader whose personal odyssey--from voter registration in the segregated South to the riots in the Newark ghetto, from his trip to North Vietnam to his conspiracy trial after the siege of the 1968 Chicago convention--mirrored the con