In between sessions at the California state legislature, Assemblyman Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica) has been pounding away at his personal computer. The result of his efforts, an as-yet untitled autobiography, will be published by Random House in the spring.
Noting that Gentleman's Quarterly magazine recently described Hayden as "the epitome of the Sixties revolt, a leading philosopher and organizer of the movement," Random House said the book will trace Hayden's "personal and political education" from the 1950s to the present.
The book will be a "warts-and-all" examination of both Hayden's life and the movements of the 1960s, Random House said, exploring motives, accomplishments and failures from the perspective of two decades later, as "an outsider turned insider."
"Through Tom's political education, all of us can understand a lot more about where we've been and where we're going," Hayden's editor, Random House associate publisher Peter Osnos said.
Perhaps because he has been toying with his own working title of "Class of '68," Hayden said his book would examine how the ramifications of the political events of that year affected future political changes.
"Nineteen sixty-eight was a watershed year for my generation," Hayden explained, "and the events of that year continue to reverberate in the lives of millions of Americans today. I'm trying to understand how individuals sort out their lives when, as part of an idealistic generation, they have those lives shattered when they were young."
Editor of his high school paper in Royal Oak, Mich., Hayden went on to be editor also of the Michigan Daily at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. After graduating from that school in 1957, Hayden had his first published article in Mademoiselle magazine. He covered the Democratic National Convention of 1960, then headed South to write about the emerging civil rights movement. But, Hayden spokesman Steve Rivers said, "he put down the pen and joined them."
Best known as a member of the Chicago 7, Hayden also generated controversy with his visits to Hanoi during the Vietnam War. Random House said his book will detail those trips, as well as his behind-the-scenes work with the same establishment he organized against--including the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and members of the Johnson Administration.
Now 47, Hayden is serving his third term in the state Assembly. He and his wife, actress Jane Fonda, have two teen-age children.
The amount of Hayden's advance for the book was undisclosed.