Caliban and the Witch
Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation
From the peasant revolts to the Great European Witch Hunt: the crushing of occult traditions and women's reproductive freedom in the transition to capitalism
A cult classic since its publication in the early years of this century, Caliban and the Witch is Silvia Federici's history of the body in the transition to capitalism. Moving from the peasant revolts of the late Middle Ages through the European witch-hunts, the rise of scientific rationalism and the colonisation of the Americas, it gives a panoramic account of the often horrific violence with which the unruly human material of pre-capitalist societies was transformed into a set of predictable and controllable mechanisms. It is a study of indigenous traditions crushed, of the enclosure of women's reproductive powers within the nuclear family, and of how our modern world was forged in blood.
Praise for Caliban and the Witch
A groundbreaking work . . . Federici has become a crucial figure for young Marxists, political theorists, and a new generation of feminists . . . a true radical who has lived by her political commitments, not just to women but against all forms of exploitationRachel Kushner, author of The Mars Room
Rewarding . . . allows us to better understand the intimate relationship between modern patriarchy, the rise of the nation state and the transition from feudalism to capitalismGuardian
It is both a passionate work of memory recovered and a hammer of humanity's agendaPeter Linebaugh, author of The London Hanged