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The Past, Present, and Future of a World-Changing Idea

By Leah Hunt-Hendrix and Astra Taylor
Pantheon Books

Solidarity is often invoked, but it is rarely analyzed and poorly understood. Here, two leading activists and thinkers survey the past, present, and future of the concept across borders of nation, identity, and class to ask: how can we build solidarity in an era of staggering inequality, polarization, violence, and ecological catastrophe? Offering a lively and lucid history of the idea—from Ancient Rome through the first European and American socialists and labor organizers, to twenty-first century social movements like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter—Hunt-Hendrix and Taylor trace the philosophical debates and political struggles that have shaped the modern world.

Looking forward, they argue that a clear understanding of how solidarity is built and sustained, and an awareness of how it has been suppressed, is essential to warding off the many crises of our present: right-wing backlash, irreversible climate damage, widespread alienation, loneliness, and despair. Hunt-Hendrix and Taylor insist that solidarity is both a principle and a practice, one that must be cultivated and institutionalized, so that care for the common good becomes the central aim of politics and social life.

“Astra and Leah have written a transformative text that reinvigorates ‘solidarity’ as a site of analysis and action. They offer us clear and compelling examples of how solidarity can not only change our economic and political system but can also transform what kind of people we become in the process.”—Derecka Purnell, author of Becoming Abolitionists

“A principle, a discussion, and a book we are in dire need of: Solidarity is a timely corrective in an era that will require all of us to get back to basics and a helpful guide to confronting the politics of division that stand between us and a just world.”—Olúfémi O. Táíwò, author of Elite Capture

Additional information

Weight 23.9 oz
Dimensions 9.5 × 6.5 × 1.5 in



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