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Labour Marxism Socialism

Beyond the Fragments: Feminism and the Making of Socialism

Beyond the Fragments: Feminism
and the Making of Socialism
Sheila Rowbotham,
Lynne Segal,
Hilary Wainwright
Merlin Press1979

Three essays on revolutionary organisation by participants in the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s. The essays criticise the organisational theory and practice of revolutionaries, particularly those of the various Trotskyist organisations which were then in their ascendancy.

They were originally published as a pamphlet by the Tyneside Socialist Centre and Islington Community Press in 1979 and reprinted in book form in 1980.

The last decade has seen the women’s movement gain strength among all classes of society. At the same time, the left has too often floundered, as fragmented groups of party liberals and leftists struggle against a growing right-wing trend. There’s an important reason for all of this, say the authors. It lies in the very different structure of the women’s movement as compared to that of most socialist organizations. This book shows what the left must learn if it is to become an effective force for grassroots change.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Hilary Wainwright
The Women’s Movement and Organizing for Socialism: Sheila Rowbotham
A Local Experience: Lynne Segal
Moving Beyond the Fragments: Hilary Wainwright