Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

An independent press publishing works of literature and nonfiction by voices of conscience.

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blog — October 24

Tom Hayden Dies at 76

Today we honor the tremendous energy and vision and commitment to the American political conversation of Tom Hayden, whose last book, Listen, Yankee! we published at the beginning of the year, and who died yesterday at the age of 74.

The primary author of the Port Huron Statement, an ally of Dr. Martin Luther King, and the one-time president of the Students for a Democratic Society, Hayden was one of the more visible radicals in the United States throughout the 1960s. A tireless advocate for an end to the invasion of Vietnam and for racial economic justice at home, Hayden and others were charged in a 1968 Democratic National Convention protest with inciting riot and conspiracy. All those charged were eventually acquitted by the end of the landmark Chicago Seven Trial.

Hayden was elected to the California legislature in 1982, extending his activism to environmental and other causes. His 2016 book Listen, Yankee! anticipated this year's detente between the United States and Cuba.

The need to generate a conversation about the prospects for abolition is perhaps even greater now, because linked to the abolition of prisons is the abolition of the instruments of war, the abolition of racism....