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Special Tribute: Tom Hayden, An American Revolutionary

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Tom Hayden, a radical anti-war protester who became an activist, skilled legislator and author, died on October 23 at age 76.  He made a major impact on your humble host, before and after I knew him personally.In this tribute to Tom Hayden, we recap his fascinating life and share segments of some of the many interviews he gave me over the years.

Steve Wasserman, co-author of Hayden’s final book to be published in January, wrote a personal remembrance that includes Tom’s graphic description of his stroke, caused by exposure to fracking wastewater in Kern County, California; this was not included in most of the obituaries in mainstream media.  In my comments, I also note that Hayden and Jane Fonda funded Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, which dramatically curbed tobacco use in America.

In this podcast, we use clips from these archived interviews:

August 19, 2008   (with deep gratitude to Ben Burch for recovering it from the White Rose Society library) Hayden comments on Obama and McCain’s intentions in Afghanistan, a week before the Denver convention.

April 8, 2011 We discuss the regime change in Libya, and the roles of “humanitarian hawks” Samantha Power and Hillary Clinton in Obama’s decision to go forward

July 30, 2015  We discuss Hayden’s impressive book, Listen Yankee and the remarkable parallels of the lives of Hayden and Ricardo Alarcon, a Cuban revolutionary also influenced by C. Wright Mills.  We also use an excerpt where he describes Hillary Rodham’s role in the Yale Student Strike.  Somewhat unintended, the book and interview give an interesting retrospective on Hayden’s impressive life.