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Articles by Clayton Van Lydegraf

SDS activists were influenced by many people, experiences, events, and writings. This website welcomes SDS veterans to contribute suggestions for other links as well as their own writing on important influences on their political development.

Here, we present one organizer-writer-thinker who was not widely published but who had an influence on the development of some people in SDS.

Clayton Van Lydegraf (1915-1992) was a long-time political activist in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere. He was one of very few veteran activists of the Old Left who early-on understood the importance and vitality of the new generation of activists coming up in the mid-1960s, young people who were influenced and inspired by the Civil Rights movement and who were motivated by opposition to the Vietnam War.

Two of his articles in particular circulated among SDS members:

The Object is to Win 1967. Third edition, 1971. This paper was especially noteworthy in its influence upon the new movements of the late 1960s. While some of the material is obviously dated, the article is of historical value in understanding the development of the ideas of the Weather Underground. Also, it is masterful in defining and describing concepts of revolutionary strategy.

The Movement and the Workers 1969. Second edition, 1972. A helpful treatise on the role of the U.S. working class and the relationship of revolutionaries to it. This article had an impact on some segments of the New Left.

Click here for more articles by Clayton Van Lydegraf.

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