Solidarity: The Past, Present, and Future of a World-Changing Idea (Hardcover)

Solidarity: The Past, Present, and Future of a World-Changing Idea By Leah Hunt-Hendrix, Astra Taylor Cover Image

Solidarity: The Past, Present, and Future of a World-Changing Idea (Hardcover)


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A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK • From renowned organizers and activists Leah Hunt-Hendrix and Astra Taylor, comes the first in-depth examination of Solidarity—not just as a rallying cry, but as potent political movement with potential to effect lasting change.

“A window into what is possible when we reject the politics of division, trade individualism for interconnectedness and prioritize coming together for the greater good.”—Heather McGhee, author of The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone
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.
LEAH HUNT-HENDRIX was born and raised in New York City. She has a PhD in Religion, Ethics, and Politics from Princeton University where she wrote her dissertation on the Ethics of Solidarity. Leah has founded multiple organizations that have impacted the American politicallandscape. In 2012, she co-founded Solidaire, a national network of philanthropists dedicated to funding progressive movements, and in 2017, she co-founded Way to Win, a network with a similar structure, this time dedicated to electoral strategy. Both organizations are grounded in building solidarity between major donors and grassroots organizing. 
ASTRA TAYLOR is cofounder of the Debt Collective, a union of debtors. She is the director of numerous documentaries and the author of The Age of Insecurity: Coming Together as Things Fall Apart, Democracy May Not Exist But We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone, and The People’s Platform (winner of an American Book Award), among other works. Her writing has appeared in periodicals including The New Yorker, The New York Times, n+1, and The Baffler. She is an advisor to Lux Magazine and is on the editorial board of Hammer & Hope. She was the 2023 CBC Massey Lecturer.
Product Details ISBN: 9780593701249
ISBN-10: 0593701240
Publisher: Pantheon
Publication Date: March 12th, 2024
Pages: 432
Language: English
One of Vulture’s Best Books of the Year (So Far)
One of Foreign Policy’s Most Anticipated Books of The Year

One of The Millions’ Most Anticipated Books of Winter 2024

—James Downie, MSNBC
The Guardian

"Reads at once like a moral treatise and a rallying manifesto, a call to reflect and lock arms . . . but there’s something else humming under the surface, more philosophical ideas pointing the way to the deep humanity implicit in our interdependence.”
The Washington Post

“If there was ever a time for an American audience to become familiar with solidarity’s deep history, it would be now. An epidemic of loneliness, staggering inequality, forever wars, environmental degradation are just a small sample of the current problems we can only face together, not alone. It is for these reasons and more that . . . Solidarity . . . proves so timely.”
—The Nation

“Ambitious and comprehensive . . . persuasively argue[s] that in order to create a more ‘egalitarian world,’ we must cultivate and practice the kind of solidarity that ‘chang[es] the social order toward one that is both freer and more just.’”

“Leaves readers with a real sense that solidarity is the only way out of the mess we’re in.”
Electric Literature

“Excellent . . . part history, part manifesto.”
Los Angeles Review of Books

“Eye-opening . . . a powerful and necessary read.”

“Lucid and provocative . . . will resonate with idealists eager for consequential change.”
Publishers Weekly 

“An impassioned manifesto for social reform.”

“A window into what is possible when we reject the politics of division, trade individualism for interconnectedness and prioritize coming together for the greater good.”
—Heather McGhee, author of The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone
“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: Police, Protests, and the Pursuit of Freedom

“Readers interested in the intersection of politics and practice will devour this impressive work.”
—Library Journal, starred review

“The great turning point of my life was the Reagan-era end of the idea that America was a group project. It was replaced with the notion that we were nothing more than individuals and the results included melting poles and shorter, harder lives for so many. Reversing those trends will require a recovery of solidarity as both an ideal and a practice. This wonderful book helps show the way.”
—Bill McKibben, author of The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon: A Graying American Looks Back at his Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What the Hell Happened
“For our age of austerity, debt, and inequality, Astra Taylor and Leah Hunt-Hendrix brilliantly retrieve solidarity and explore its radical potential. Connecting equals across difference, in states and at the global scale, solidarity emphasizes interdependent obligation against grinding hierarchy, including charitable and philanthropic noblesse oblige. This extraordinary book moves from the history of the concept to the present moment and proposes exactly the collective renovation that our political situation desperately requires.”
—Samuel Moyn, author Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World

“While the labor movement taught us to sing, ‘Solidarity Forever,’ working people who struggle to make ends meet have rightly asked, ‘Solidarity for what?’ This book's vision of ‘transformative solidarity’ is an answer to that question informed by history, aware of the forces we're up against, and engaged with some of the most encouraging movement-building of our time. It’s a gift for all of us who want to build a world where everyone can thrive.”
—William J. Barber, II, President of Repairers of the Breach and Founding Director of Yale's Center for Public Theology and Public Policy

“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: How the Powerful Took Over Identity Politics (And Everything Else)

“Solidarity is the single most important idea right now—the only route toward shared joy and justice; the largest threat to concentrated power and profit. And Solidarity is the single most important book today: brilliant, fun, radical, practical, and dangerous—oh so dangerous—to the status quo. Read it, live it, pass it on.”
—Ian Haney Lopez, author of Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class

Solidarity is a rich and deep examination of the way everyday people can come together to save ourselves. Through academic research and real-world experience, the authors have built a lesson plan and a call to action for anyone who wishes to build a future where we all thrive.”
Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA