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.
“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)
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 a writer, documentarian, and co-founder of the Debt Collective, a union of debtors. She is the author of The Age of Insecurity: Coming Together as Things Fall Apart, Democracy May Not Exist But We’ll Miss It When It is Gone, _and The People’s Platform (winner of the American Book Award), among other titles, and the director of _What Is Democracy? and other films. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, n+I, The Baffler, _and elsewhere and she is an advisor to _Lux Magazine and on the editorial board of Hammer & Hope. A former touring member of the band Neutral Milk Hotel, she was the 2023 CBC Massey Lecturer.