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Tom Hayden | The Nation

Tom Hayden

Author Bios

Tom Hayden

Senator Tom Hayden, the Nation Institute's Carey McWilliams Fellow, has played an active role in American politics and history for over three decades, beginning with the student, civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s.

"Tom Hayden changed America," wrote Nicholas Lemann, national correspondent for The Atlantic, of Hayden's role in the 1960s. Richard Goodwin, former speechwriter for John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, said that Hayden, "without even knowing it, inspired the Great Society."

Hayden was elected to the California State Legislature in 1982, where he served for ten years in the Assembly before being elected to the State Senate in 1992, where he served eight years.

Hayden has been described as "the conscience of the Senate" by columnist Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee, and as "the liberal rebel" by George Skelton of the Los Angeles Times. "He has carved out a key watchdog role," according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

He is author of over 175 measures ranging from reform of money in politics, worker safety, school decentralization, small business tax relief, domestic violence, lessening gang violence in the inner city, stopping student fee increases at universities, protecting endangered species like salmon, overhauling three strikes, you're out laws, and a measure signed into law that will assist Holocaust survivors in receiving recognition and compensation for having been exploited as slave labor during the Nazi era.

Hayden is the author of eleven books, including his autobiography, Reunion; a book on the spirituality and the environment, Lost Gospel of the Earth; a collection of essays on the aftermath of the Irish potato famine, Irish Hunger (Roberts Rhinehart) and a book on his Irish background, Irish on the Inside: In Search of the Soul of Irish America (Verso); Radical Nomad, a biography of C. Wright Mills (Paradigm Publishers); and, most recently, Ending the War in Iraq (2007). A collection of his work, Writings for a Democratic Society: The Tom Hayden Reader was published this year .

Articles

News and Features

Bob Woodward's Obama's Wars is essential reading for anyone seeking a map out of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

A federal judge last week abruptly postponed ruling on whether it was proper for prosecutors seeking wiretap permission to conceal their use of top members of the Mara Salvatrucha gang as informants. Meanwhile, the recent shooting of a Guatemalan day laborer by an LAPD officer has reignited a controversy over police reform that is at the root of the current courtroom drama.

Court records filed in the Alex Sanchez case and reviewed by The Nation show federal prosecutors have concealed their use of notorious gang leaders as informants while applying for surveillance permits.

While Congress is throwing another $33 billion into the Afghanistan sinkhole, WikiLeaks takes on the oversight duties the lawmakers ought to perform.

Rachel Maddow today is less bold on Afghanistan than Walter Cronkite was 32 years ago on Vietnam, even though the CBS anchor was the far more mainstream of the two.

Federal prosecutors will soon be forced to admit that their star witness in the gang conspiracy case against Alex Sanchez is a fugitive still on a crime spree somewhere in Central America.

Thursday's votes send a significant antiwar message to President Obama, leaving the White House dependent on Republicans for Afghanistan war support.

If tomorrow's vote shows an increased Congressional opposition, the president and his national security team will face a future in which the Afghanistan war is supported primarily by Republicans and opposed by Democrats and independents.

With eighteen Democratic senators voting for Feingold’s call for withdrawal from Afghanistan, is a long and bloody end to the quagmire in sight?

The war on gangs, now globalized, runs roughshod over the ordinary checks on the criminal justice system.

Blogs

Our contributors reflect on the legacy of the invasion and the destruction, and disillusionment, that followed.