Ecological Politics: Ecofeminists and the Greens

Synopsis

AN ILLUMINATING ACCOUNT OF TWO INTERCONNECTED SOCIAL MOVEMENTS FROM THEIR GRASSROOTS ORIGINS THROUGH THE 1996 GREEN PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

Both ecofeminism and Green politics have played an important role in the radical environmental movement. As a theory and a movement bringing together feminism, environmentalism, socialism, and peace activism, ecofeminism began taking shape in the U. S. by 1980. Four years later, many ecofeminists participated in founding and developing the U. S. Green movement. Where are these movements today?

A member of both movements, Greta Gaard bases her analysis on personal experience as well as extensive secondary sources and interviews with key theorists, activists, and speakers across the United States. She describes the paths -- environmental causes, the feminist peace movement, the feminist spirituality movement, the animal liberation movement, and the anti-toxics movement, as well as experiences of interconnectedness -- that have led women (and a few men) to articulate an ecofeminist perspective. The book illustrates the development of the Greens from a national movement into a political party and defines the factions -- the Left Greens, the Youth Greens, and the Green Politics Network -- that underlay the debates during Ralph Nader's 1996 presidential campaign. She sees the history of these three groups as stages in the transition from a leftist and sometimes anarchist focus to an emphasis on electoral political action that places the Green movement squarely within the pattern of other social movements around the world.

Gaard's analysis illuminates the nature and direction of each of these important movements and the pressures and conflictsexperienced by all social movements at the end of the twentieth century.

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