In 1962 at a United Auto Workers' camp in Michigan, Students for a Democratic Society held its historic convention and prepared the famous Port Huron Statement, drafted by Tom Hayden. This statement, criticizing the U.S. Read more...
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In 1962 at a United Auto Workers' camp in Michigan, Students for a Democratic Society held its historic convention and prepared the famous Port Huron Statement, drafted by Tom Hayden. This statement, criticizing the U.S. government's failure to pursue international peace or address domestic inequality, became the organization's manifesto. Its last convention was held in 1969 in Chicago, where, collapsing under the weight of its notoriety and popularity, it shattered into myriad factions. Through brilliant art and they were-there dialogue, famed graphic novelist Harvey Pekar, gifted artist Gary Dumm, and renowned historian Paul Buhle illustrate the tumultuous decade that first defined and then was defined by the men and women who gathered under the SDS banner. "Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History" captures the idealism and activism that drove a generation of young Americans to believe that even one person's actions can help transform the world.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 55.
- Review Date: 2007-12-03
- Reviewer: Staff
American Splendor's Pekar has been incredibly prolific in the last few years, and more recently he has taken on nonautobiographical projects to varying degrees of success. This newest effort works on a variety of levels. For one, Pekar is not the sole author. He constructs a narrative of the history of the Students for a Democratic Society, but frequently steps aside to allow actual participants in that history to tell their own stories, using his casual first-person model of storytelling. The narrative moves through the decade of SDS history and then moves into the participant accounts, offering both a macro and a micro vision of the times. The artwork is mostly by frequent Pekar collaborator Gary Dumm, whose crisp, neutral realism may not be thrilling but does move the story along and does a fine job of conveying the various settings. As a whole, the book acts like a sophisticated handbook on an often misunderstood organization. It's good comics and excellent history. (Jan.)
Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History
Harvey Pekar, best known for his autobiographical American Splendor, teamed up with artist Gary Dumm, editor Paul Buhle and a handful of others to create Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History. Though text-heavy for a graphic novel, it's an accessible and exciting look at the roots of the most influential student activist group of the 1960s and '70s. Concentrating on the years 1960-69, and packed with dynamic black-and-white drawings, the book digs into the motivations behind SDS, the struggles over method and direction within the organization, the personalities who shaped the civil rights and peace movements, and the external forces that worked against the radical left. In addition to Pekar, other former members of SDS tell their own stories, and the last few pages illustrate attempts to revive the group in 2006.