Lean on Me: A Politics of Radical Care (Hardcover)

Lean on Me: A Politics of Radical Care By Lynne Segal Cover Image
On Our Shelves Now
Point Reyes
On hand as of Apr 14 7:18pm
(Gender Studies)


Have you ever relied on the kindness of strangers? What brings people together to find hope and solidarity? What do we owe each other as citizens and comrades?

Questions of care, intimacy, education, meaningful work, and social engagement lie at the core of our ability to understand the world and its possibilities for human flourishing. In Lean On Me feminist thinker Lynne Segal goes in search of hope in her own life and in the world around her. She finds it entwined in our intimate commitments to each other and our shared collective endeavours.

Segal calls this shared dependence 'radical care'. In recounting from her own life the moments of motherhood, and of being on the front line of second-wave feminism, she draws upon lessons from more than half a century of engagement in left feminist politics, with its underlying commitment to building a more egalitarian and nurturing world. The personal and the political combine in this rallying cry to transform radically how we approach education, motherhood, and our everyday vulnerabilities of disability, ageing, and enhanced needs.

Only by confronting head-on these different forms of interdependence and care can we change the way we think about the environment and learn to struggle — together —against impending climate catastrophe.

About the Author

Lynne Segal was the Anniversary Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College. Her books include Is the Straight Sex: Rethinking the Politics of Pleasure, the highly acclaimed Out of Time and Radical Happiness: Moments of Collective Joy. She co-wrote Beyond the Fragments: Feminism and the Making of Socialism with Sheila Rowbotham and Hilary Wainwright. She was part of the Care Collective, who wrote The Care Manifesto, 2021.

Praise For…

"Lean on Me contains crucial lessons, from one of the most important figures of the British Women's Liberation Movement, for our contemporary politics. Our dependence on the care of others, Lynne Segal reminds us, is not just an inescapable requirement of human life, but moreover the ultimate source of its meaning."
—Amia Srinivasan, author of The Right to Sex

"Both memoir and manifesto, this wonderful book charts a personal history of feminist socialism - and, with her usual humane wisdom, our author points the way to a better politics."
—Baroness Helena Kennedy of the Shaws KC

"Such a powerful, honest and passionate account of a life lived with and for others, one that cuts right through the ideology of the singular individualist. Interdependence is how we thrive and survive and Lynne Segal shows how we do this daily over a lifetime. A wonderfully warm, vivid, compassionate book. A model for us all."
—Bev Skeggs, Professor, Sociology, University of Lancaster

"Draws on a lifetime of effervescent political and intellectual engagement. Blending moving memoir with interdisciplinary analysis, Lynne Segal teaches, entertains and inspires us to rethink dependency, socialise our resources and re-enchant our worlds. Magnificent!"
—Jo Littler, author of Left Feminisms

"Drawing on a long and rich life of activism and intellectual work, Segal now turns her forensic gaze to one of the most pressing themes of our age: how we care for each other. Examining her subject through the prism of modern capitalism, our ravaged planet and the rise of populism, Segal is clear that radical solutions are urgently needed. Only these will allow us to reaffirm our human interdependence and provide recognition, care and support, particularly to those most in need."
—Melissa Benn, author of Life Lessons

"[Segal] remains hopeful that a more caring future is possible ... In an age of increasing despair about the welfare state, an empowering message can go a long way."
—Amy Hall, New Internationalist

"A first-hand account of a life spent invoking the power of the collective."
—Rachel Andrews, Irish Times

"Segal is clear that the fight for a more compassionate society requires some major political changes ... These are not abstractions, but ideas rooted in movements for fairer pay, democratically run services and climate justice. Segal urges us to link them up and amplify them - it's sound advice."
—Mike Phipps, Labour Hub
Product Details
ISBN: 9781804292945
ISBN-10: 180429294X
Publisher: Verso
Publication Date: November 14th, 2023
Pages: 256
Language: English