Small Comrades: Revolutionizing Childhood in Soviet Russia, 1917-1932

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Overview

Small Comrades is a fascinating examination of Soviet conceptions of childhood and the resulting policies directed toward children. Working on the assumption that cultural representations and self-representations are not entirely separable, this book probes how the Soviet regime's representations structured teachers' observations of their pupils and often adults' recollections of their childhood. The book draws on work that has been done on Soviet schooling, and focuses specifically on the development of curricula and institutions, but it also examines the wider context of the relationship between the family and the state, and to the Bolshevik vision of the "children of October"

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
This study examines the notion that children in the new Soviet state embodied both pressing practical problems and revolutionary dreams. Kirschenbaum (history, West Chester U., Pennsylvania), in an elegantly written revision of her dissertation, details the pre-1917 roots of Bolshevik kindergartens and their role in teaching ideology; the effect on revolutionary ideas for women of the cost of socialized childcare; the links of anti-Bolshevik rhetoric of children's liberation with current Western notions of the helplessness and innocence of children; the withering away of the kindergarten policy in the 1920's and the concurrent debates to reeducate parents; and the construction of the emblematic child in the era of Stalin. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction: Real and Imagined Children

Part One: The Kindergarten and the Revolutionary Tradition in Russia

1. Pedagogy and Politics

Part Two: The Children of October and the Civil War

2. "Save the Children"

3. The Family as Fiction

4. The Nature of Childhood

Part Three: Rethinking Revolution and Childhood, 1921-1932

5. The Withering Away of Kindergarten

6. Rescripting Childhood

7. "Thank You, Comrade Stalin, for Our Happy Childhood"

Conclusion

Postscript: Three Childhoods

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