Radical Solidarity

Ruth Reynolds, Political Allyship, and the Battle for Puerto Rico's Independence

By Lisa G. Materson

Radical Solidarity

Approx. 272 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 20 halftones, 2 maps

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-7992-1
    Published: December 2024
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-7991-4
    Published: December 2024

Paperback Available December 2024, but pre-order your copy today!

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Radical Solidarity tells the riveting story of Ruth Reynolds (1916–1989), a white pacifist from South Dakota who became a stalwart ally of nationalist revolutionaries during Puerto Rico's long struggle for independence. Reynolds dedicated her life to ending US control of the archipelago. She testified before Congress and the UN, organized fellow North Americans, investigated the brutal tactics used by the colonial state to quash independence sentiment, and was incarcerated as a political prisoner.

Lisa G. Materson introduces the concept of "radical solidarity," to describe Reynolds's powerful model for globally engaged activism. Guided by her vision of allyship, Reynolds developed deep bonds with Puerto Rican nationalist women with whom she was imprisoned, collaborated across ideological divides with revolutionary leaders, and established lasting relationships with civil rights lawyers, political exiles, and New Left activists. Her radical solidarity enabled her to remain a tireless champion for Puerto Rico's independence through five decades of hope, disappointment, and political change. Her life reveals the price paid by those who supported an independent Puerto Rico and sheds light on the possibilities of working across difference in the face of US state-sanctioned violence and colonialism.

About the Author

Lisa G. Materson is professor at the University of California, Davis.
For more information about Lisa G. Materson, visit the Author Page.


"Lisa Materson has drawn on an impressive array and quantity of resources that makes for an extremely moving and inspiring read. It is an excellent and important project." — Margaret Power, author of Solidarity across the Americas: The Puerto Rican Nationalist Party and Anti-imperialism

"Materson's discussion of Reynolds's life helps us understand the complexities of solidarity activism as well as the ways that Puerto Ricans and their allies have fought for liberation from colonial rule. Well written and engaging, the book stands to make a major contribution to the field." — Marisol LeBrón, author of Policing Life and Death: Race, Violence, and Resistance in Puerto Rico