Rose Summerfield: Australian Radical outlines the largely forgotten achievements of this overlooked labor union activist and socialist sympathetic to anarchist, feminist, and secularist ideas: a dynamic speaker, who eventually emigrated to Paraguay to live on a utopian commune called Cosme. In this first book-length study of Summerfield, Shone supplements existing scholarship with new information, revealing to a much fuller extent Summerfield’s contributions to radical thought, documenting the substantial scope of her contributions to women’s rights activism in New South Wales in the 1890s, a topic that has previously been almost completely ignored.
Steve J. Shone is a retired professor of political science.
Chapter 1: Labor Activist
Chapter 2: Campaigner for Women’s Rights
Chapter 3: Freethinker and Political Theorist
Chapter 4: A Major Thinker, Mischaracterized and Misunderstood
Chapter 5: Settler in Paraguay
Conclusion: Rose Summerfield, Advocate for Human Dignity
Stories like that of Rose Summerfield sorely need to be told, both to connect us to the insights of women struggling against injustice in the past and to empower us for the struggles of the present. Thanks to Steve Shone for the hard work involved in doing so!
Written with wonderful clarity, confidence and accuracy, this book stands as a fine testament to the remarkable life and times of Rose Summerfield. For those who have yet to be acquainted with this highly original activist and radical thinker I can think of no finer introduction. For those who have engaged with existing works on Summerfield, I have every confidence that you stand to gain a great deal from the original depth and historical rigour that Steve J. Shone brings to his subject. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, for those who have taken up the challenge to confront the social and spatial injustices of our time, please read this book! The energy and critical insight that Rose brought to the world in both thought and deed still have so much to inspire and illuminate our contemporary struggles for emancipation and freedom. For these reasons, and many more besides, I cannot recommend Rose Summerfield: Australian Radical highly enough.