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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

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

Representative John Conyers, frustrated by Congress's inaction towards the Afghanistan War, is forming a new caucus to focus Congressional opposition to the continuing conflict.

The need for stronger links between the environmental, peace and Wall Street reform movements grow by the day in the face of the oil spill caused by BP.

Over a thousand gathered to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and to pass the torch to a new generation.

Russ Feingold and Jim McGovern are expected to introduce legislation as early as next week calling for a "flexible timetable" for the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.

Only 65 members of the House voted with Kucincich to force withdrawal from the Afghan war.  The outcome makes the anti-war forces appear weaker than they are, and appearances do matter.

Members of Congress who oppose the US military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq are divided on strategies to force de-escalation.

As part of an attempt to frame the surge as an important move towards negotiations with the Taliban, NATO countries are set to contribute 7,000 soldiers for the Afghanistan war.

In a closed legal proceeding, Judge Manual Real grants bail to the Homies Unidos founder.

The federal judge's order means that LA's top gang reduction officials will be subpoenaed to state what they know of Alex Sanchez.

Blogs

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