The Baba and the Comrade: Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Russia

Overview

" . . . well-researched and skillfully written . . . a welcome addition to the historical narrative on Soviet gender policy." —Journal of Women's History" . . . a highly persuasive, revealing, and well-documented account of early Bolshevik policy, practice, and language pertaining to the 'baba problem' and the unexpected ways female and male comrades responded to the party-state's tutelary role toward women." —Slavic Review" . . . a well-organized, sophisticated analysis of the difficulties involved in attempting to reconcile ideology with
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Overview

" . . . well-researched and skillfully written . . . a welcome addition to the historical narrative on Soviet gender policy." —Journal of Women's History" . . . a highly persuasive, revealing, and well-documented account of early Bolshevik policy, practice, and language pertaining to the 'baba problem' and the unexpected ways female and male comrades responded to the party-state's tutelary role toward women." —Slavic Review" . . . a well-organized, sophisticated analysis of the difficulties involved in attempting to reconcile ideology with political, economic, and cultural realities." —The Russian Review" . . . richly documented, well argued account of Soviet attempts to come to grips with a melancholy tradition." —Virginia Quarterly" This is a rich and densely argued study that embeds the story of the zhenotdel in the context of the political struggles and institutional structures of this formative period of the Russian Revolution." —American Historical Review" The conclusion to Wood's sophisticated analysis . . . is solidly based on a mass of detailed and original research." —Slavonica" The scholarship in this book is of very high quality and the questions raised are ‘large' . . . an outstanding contribution to the tangled issue of gender in Soviet Russia." —Susan Gross SolomonThe Baba and the Comrade explores the early Bolshevik government's efforts to mobilize women into the public sphere and involve them in the world of politics. Elizabeth A. Wood examines how prevailing images of men and women both facilitated and complicated construction of a new society and state.
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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Women's History
. . . well-researched and skillfully written . . . a welcome addition to the historical narrative on Soviet gender policy.
Booknews
Details the Bolshevik government's campaign to draw women into the public sphere and involve them in the world of politics in the early Soviet years. A central focus is the creation and activities of the , a special women's section within the Russian Communist Party whose mission was to appeal to women workers and to enlist them in the revolutionary struggle. Reconstructs how notions of gender sameness and difference both facilitated and complicated Bolshevik efforts at state building during the civil war and under the New Economic Policy. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Elizabeth A. Wood is Associate Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
I The Woman Question
1 The Bolsheviks and the Genealogy of the Woman Question 13
II Gender in the Context of State-Making and Civil War
2 Sharp Eyes and Tender Hearts: Passing New Legislation and Fighting the Civil War 49
3 Identity and Organization: Creating the Women's Sections of the Communist Party 68
4 War Communism at Its Height: Lobbying on Behalf of Women Workers 99
III The New Threat to the Social Contract
5 The Liquidation Crisis in Zhenotdel Politics 127
6 The Crisis in Economics: The Social Contract Endangered 147
7 The New Threat: Zhenotdel Criticisms of the Social Costs of NEP 170
8 Daily Life and Gender Transformation 194
Conclusion 215
Notes 223
Bibliography 289
Index 311
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