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Lean on Me : A Politics of Radical Care

Lynne Segal
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Verso Books
Published: November 14, 2023
ISBN: 9781804292945
256 pages
Country of publication: United Kingdom


In Lean on Me Segal searches for hope in her own life and in the world around her, and finds it in our intimate commitments to each other and our shared collective engagements, the two being intertwined. Issues of care, intimacy, education, alongside meaningful work, and social engagement, lie at the core of our ability to understand the world and its possibilities for human flourishing. Not only does our dependence on others not disappear into self-sufficient autonomy once we leave childhood behind- only to re-emerge in very old age -but ignoring human interdependence and our lifelong need for care has been part of a massive and destructive public denial that must be resisted.

Segal looks at our shared lifelong dependence on care and the well-being of others. In recounting from her own life the moments of motherhood, and of being on the front line of second wave feminism Segal 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 radically transform how we approach education, motherhood, and our everyday vulnerabilities of disability, ageing and enhanced needs. Finally, Segal insists that only by confronting head on these different forms of interdependence and care can we change the ways that we think about the environment and how we must struggle, together, against impending climate catastrophe.

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