Take a stand with your life : Tom Hayden and the vision and direction of the Students for a Democratic Society from 1959 to 1965
Altuğ, Ali Haydar
Kohn, Edward P.
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The purpose of the thesis is to examine the development of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) from 1959 to 1965 and to show that Tom Hayden was the most effective figure in navigating the organization during this era. SDS was founded in 1959 and from 1959 to 1965 the main inner problem of the organization was to determine its vision and direction. The Port Huron Statement issued in 1962 was the first turning point in this aim. The writer of the Port Huron Statement was Tom Hayden. His main line of vision was to create an activist student movement throughout the country that would make social reform using the tactics of southern movement that was pursued by the black protestors. It is argued in the thesis that Hayden embraced the task of being the catalyst of southern civil rights movement and the activist students in the North and played an important role in shaping the vision and direction of SDS and in widening the organization’s influence. With the Economic Research and Action Project (ERAP), SDS fully followed the vision of Hayden. The models of community organizing, direct activism, and participatory democracy became the main terms in defining the organization’s vision. In giving the account of this period, the documents in SDS Microfilm Collection that has been located at the Library University of Wisconsin were used. Most of the written discussions made by the members of the organization exist in this collection.