In 1933, aged eighteen, Patrick Leigh Fermor set out on his 'great trudge', a year-long journey by foot from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul. Three decades later he wrote A Time of Gifts, the sparklingly original account of the first part of this youthful adventure, which took him through the Low Countries, up the Rhine, through Germany, down the Danube, through Austria and Czechoslovakia, and as far as Hungary.
Alone, carrying only a rucksack and with a small allowance of only a pound a week, Fermor had planned to sleep rough - to live 'like a tramp, a pilgrim, or a wandering scholar' - but a chance introduction in Bavaria led to comfortable stays in castles, and provided a glimpse of the old Europe of princes and peasants.
In this landmark work, four of the world's leading scholar-activists issue an urgent call for a truly intersectional, internationalist, abolitionist feminism. As a politics and as a practice, abolitionism has increasingly shaped our political moment, amplified through the worldwide protests following the 2020 murder of George Floyd by a uniformed police officer. It is at the heart of the Black Lives Matter movement, in its demands for police defunding and demilitarisation, and a halt to prison construction.
As this book shows, abolitionism and feminism stand shoulder-to-shoulder in fighting a common cause: the end of the carceral state, with its key role in perpetuating violence, both public and private, in prisons, in police forces, and in people's homes. Abolitionist theories and practices are at their most compelling when they are feminist; and a feminism that is also abolitionist is the most inclusive and persuasive version of feminism for these times. ABOLITION.