Friday, September 16, 2011

New Book: ‘…The Lost Writings of SDS’

This is a fascinating new collection of 12 essays and documents from the New Left of the late 1960s, gathered and commented on by Carl Davidson, a national leader of SDS at the time.

‘Revolutionary Youth and the New Working Class’ contains key sources illuminating a critical transition period in the American left, as well as a number of ideas still relevant.

Most important is the ‘Port Authority Statement’, actually titled ‘Toward a Theory of Social Change, and written by Robert Gottlieb, Gerry Tenney and David Gilbert. Passed around in mimeographed form, only about a third of it was ever put into print in SDS’s newspaper, until factional struggles set it aside. Meant to replace the Port Huron Statement, it is remarkable for many insights still holding up today.

The collection includes other ‘Praxis Papers,’ including three by Davidson, the Revolutionary Youth Movement documents that replied to the Weatherman faction, and the original ‘White Blindspot’ documents. About half the content has been scattered across the internet, but much of it has been newly digitized and now available in both e-book and paperback form from Changemaker Publications. Go to the site for the full contents, and contact the editor at for bulk rates.

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