Mutual Aid

Building Solidarity During This Crisis

paperback, 128 pages

Published Oct. 27, 2020 by Verso.

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4 stars (5 reviews)

Mutual aid is the radical act of caring for each other while working to change the world.

Around the globe, people are faced with a spiralling succession of crises, from the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change-induced fires, floods, and storms to the ongoing horrors of mass incarceration, racist policing, brutal immigration enforcement, endemic gender violence, and severe wealth inequality. As governments fail to respond to—or actively engineer—each crisis, ordinary people are finding bold and innovative ways to share resources and support the vulnerable.

Survival work, when done alongside social movement demands for transformative change, is called mutual aid.

This book is about mutual aid: why it is so important, what it looks like, and how to do it. It provides a grassroots theory of mutual aid, describes how mutual aid is a crucial part of powerful movements for social justice, and offers concrete tools for organizing, such as how to …

1 edition

Mutual Aid by Dean Spade does not live up to my expectations.

2 stars

Mutual Aid by Dean Spade does not live up to my expectations.

Most could be said in a few paragraphs and it is too much focused on short-term mutual aid, and catastrophic environments and does not talk enough about maintaining mutual aid and guiding structures. The permanent MA in form of Co-Ops or economical MA is not touched enough.

great on why mutual aid matters & how to make it work

4 stars

I love the first half of this book as a primer on what mutual aid is and how it’s different from the world of charity (although as an intro to the concept it will play better for lefty readers who already have some inkling of those problems). And I love the second half as a really practical guide to leadership and management, which is key for mutual aid group dynamics but also full of good material to use for reflecting on this in all sorts of dynamics. The book is short, sweet, and I now have a habit of giving it away to mutual aid friends

Succinct, instructive, and empowering

5 stars

As I've struggled as a mutual aid organizer, I will sometimes wonder if I've done any good. But this book is the kind of manual and manifesto that will keep the fire alive while providing guidance to grow and refine the social movements this time of crises demands.

good & good on management, too

4 stars

I picked this up looking to learn more about the concept of mutual aid but honestly (and this is NOT a criticism), it’s much more about managing people. Lots of good advice in here; the chapters/sections on leadership qualities that support collaboration & identifying burnout were especially great.

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5 stars