Sheila Rowbotham is a writer, an historian, an activist, and an internationally renowned socialist feminist. In 1970 she participated in the first British Women’s Liberation Conference at Ruskin College Oxford, and two years later she published Women, Resistance, and Revolution, a pathbreaking analysis of women’s participation in radical upheavals that was immediately translated into multiple languages and is now recognized as a feminist classic.
In 2000, she published a memoir, Promise of a Dream, which followed her first steps as a political radical and as an activist for women’s liberation over the course of the 1960s. She has now followed it with a second volume, Daring to Hope, a year-by-year exploration of her life in the 1970s, when she gained a global reputation as a writer and activist for whom women’s liberation and socialist revolution inextricably went hand in hand. In conversation with Marybeth Hamilton, she discusses the political challenges of feminist activism and the intimate challenges of navigating a life devoted to transformation, in which the personal was understood to be political.
Sheila Rowbotham is the author of over twenty books, including Woman’s Consciousness, Man’s World (1975), Dreamers of a New Day: Women who Invented the Twentieth Century (2010), and Edward Carpenter: a Life of Liberty and Love, which won the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Biography in 2008. Her new book Daring to Hope: My Life in the 1970s is published by Verso.