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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

Because our leaders didn’t listen, or listened too late, the end came in Vietnam as a total catastrophe. It’s not too late to avoid a repeat in Syria.

To reject the “Long War” doctrine, the American left first has to understand it. 

To understand the present crisis over downed Malaysian flight MH17, we need to look at the roots of the new Cold War.

The Vermont senator has given progressives leverage and a platform, a potent combination.

With Senator Foreign Relations chairman and Cuba hawk Robert Menendez mired in scandal, the embargo could finally be lifted.

The same mentality that promotes secret schemes aimed at regime change abroad will be applied at home.

Bill de Blasio touts his police commissioner pick as a “progressive visionary,” but Bill Bratton’s record tells a different story.

Irrational US policy is keeping hundreds of thousands of Cubans from spending the holidays with their families.

The American public deserves a full explanation of what we are being asked to support.

With Governor Jerry Brown taking a hardline position, strikers must turn to the courts, public opinion or the legislature.

Blogs

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