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Women, Resistance and Revolution: A History of Women and Revolution in the Modern World

“A key figure of the second wave.”–Melissa Benn, The Guardian

This classic book provides a historical overview of feminist strands among the modern revolutionary movements of Russia, China and the Third World. Sheila Rowbotham shows how women rose against the dual challenges of an unjust state system and social-sexual prejudice. Women, Resistance and Revolution is an invaluable historical study, as well as a trove of anecdote and example fit to inspire today’s generation of feminist thinkers and activists.


  • “Rowbotham is one of Britain's most important, if unshowy, feminist thinkers, and a key figure of the second wave.”
  • “Sheila's early writing paved the way for feminist thought and scholarship in Britain.”


  • The Russian Revolution: A Verso Reading List

    "The year 1917 was an epic, a concatenation of adventures, hopes, betrayals, unlikely coincidences, war and intrigue; of bravery and cowardice and foolishness, farce, derring-do, tragedy; of epochal ambitions and change, of glaring lights, steel, shadows; of tracks and trains...

    This was Russia’s revolution, certainly, but it belonged and belongs to others, too. It could be ours. If its sentences are still unfinished, it is up to us to finish them." — China Miéville

    One hundred years on from the Russian Revolution we look back at the events that turned the world upside down and how they resonate today with new books from China Miéville and Tariq Ali, and classic texts from the Verso archive, made newly available for the centenary.

    All the books on this reading list are 50% off until May 28 at midnight UTC. Click here to activate your discount.

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  • What does the Russian Revolution mean to you?

    Throughout May we've been marking the centenary of the Russian Revolution with new books from Tariq Ali and China Miéville, plus Weekend Reads looking at women in Russia before and after the Revolutionthe Black Bolsheviks, and lots more. All our Russian Revolution reading is 50% off until May 28.

    In this series of posts (Part I below, Part II, and Part III) we ask writers to respond to the Revolution and its importance today. 

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  • If You Like Tobogganing: Women in Russia Before and After the Revolution

    Women, Resistance and Revolution and all books on our Russian Revolution reading list are 50% off until May 28 at midnight UTC. Click here to activate your discount.

    Detail from c. 1920s Soviet poster for International Women's Day.

    First published in 1973, and reissued as part of Verso's Radical Thinkers series, 
    Women, Resistance and Revolution: A History of Women and Revolution in the Modern World — Sheila Rowbotham's first book-length study, a landmark in feminist history — reconstructs the often neglected feminist currents in the English, American, French, Russian, Chinese, Algerian, Cuban, Vietnamese revolutions, and within European socialist movements. "This is not a proper history of feminism and revolution," Rowbotham writes, "Such a story necessarily belongs to the future and will anyway be a collective creation. Instead I have tried to trace the fortunes of an idea. It is a very simple idea, but one with which we have lost touch, that the liberation of women necessitates the liberation of all human beings."

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Other books by Sheila Rowbotham

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