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Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation Paperback – September 15, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
The book assesses various aspects of this development, including witchcraft and the witch-hunts, the "Christianization" (or rather Catholization) of the North and South American native civilizations, the role of philosophical mechanism and the developers of the scientific method (Bacon, Descartes, Newton, Hobbes, etc.), and the early slave trade. In each case Federici masterfully shows how this development came to be, what role it played in the process of 'original accumulation', and why it was favored temporarily by the ruling class. She also gives very strong evidence that things like fear of witchcraft, patriarchy, racism etc., often seen as the inevitable and 'natural' results of ignorance and superstition in those societies, were in reality forced onto the common people as part of a top-down campaign to destroy the backbone of the feudal communities.
What is an additional interesting contribution of this book is Federici's evidence that there was not only widespread peasant resistance against the process of enclosure, capitalization and expropriation, but more particularly that women often played a very major role in these resistance movements, especially after the German Peasant War ended in a massacre.Read more ›
Nothing can so clearly help us understand the torture and the project of neo-liberalism as this, for Federici describes a foundational process creating the structural conditions for the existence of capitalism. This is the fundamental relationship of capitalist accumulation, or (as it is called in decades of technical literature) 'primitive accumulation.' This mystery perplexed (however coyly) Adam Smith. It was the 'original sin' of the political economists, and for Karl Marx it was written in "letters of blood and fire."
The birth of the proletariat required war against women. This was the witch-hunt when tens of thousands of women in Europe were tortured and burnt at the stake, in massive state-sponsored terror against the European peasantry destroying communal relations and communal property. It was coeval with the enclosures of the land, the destruction of popular culture, the genocide in the New World, and the start of the African slave trade.Read more ›
Federici's indepth knowledge, uncompromising honesty, and accessible writing style bring this historical narrative to life. This is not a dry reading of endless historical facts. Federici makes these facts sing out from the page.
This is an excellent read. One you're not going to want to miss.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This books contains vital information for global healing and the awakening of human consciousness. And, it's heavy and slow to read. Read morePublished 4 months ago by elyssa serrilli
Everyone who hopes to coherently discuss contemporary politics, economics, and gender relations needs to read this book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jessie
This fills in an immense, essential gaps if we are to begin to understand our historical journey from European feudalism through colonization to the totalizing capitalism of today.Published 6 months ago by Billie L. Knighton
This book showed how the working classes were divided along gender lines as industrial capitalism took over. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Amara
Federici investigates the witch hunts of the Middle Ages, a period encompassing almost 300 years, and examines the meaning of the state and religious terror perpetrated against... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Ben Debney
A must have for anyone interested in the emergence of capitalism. A well written very informed perspective. A must have.Published on February 27, 2014 by jennifer
This book has a very original point of view about the so called Witch Hunt: reasons were economical more than religious. Read morePublished on August 10, 2013 by Gian Maria Turi