Village Mothers: Three Generations of Change in Russia and Tataria

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Overview

"[A]n outstanding work of historical ethnography.... The book offers wonderful insight into how women created and understood the great changes of the 20th century. It is unique in its scope and its intimate knowledge of rural life." —Russian Review

"[A] major contribution to the field.... an important book that should be of considerable interest to medical historians and historians of peasants, the family, and of women." —American Historical Review

Village Mothers describes the reception of modern medical ideas and practices by three generations of Russian and Tatar village women in the 20th century. Using the village mothers’ own words, David L. Ransel shows how the women mediated the inherited beliefs of their families and communities, the claims of the state to control reproduction, and their personal desires for a better life.

Indiana University Press

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What People Are Saying

Susan Bridger
. . . fascinating insights into shifts in women's perceptions and behaviors spanning much of the twentieth century. It is the scope of these personal histories and the detail they have generated which makes this book partcularly impressive. . . . a very accessible and colorful text.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

David L. Ransel is Robert F. Byrnes Professor of History and Director of the Russian and East European Institute at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

1. Child Welfare before the Revolution
2. Soviet Efforts to Transform Village Mothering
3. Courtship and Marriage
4. Fertility Choices
5. Giving Birth
6. Baptism and Equivalent Muslim Rites
7. Coping with Infant Death
8. Child Care
9. Conclusion: Life and Loyalty in Hard Times
Appendix A: List of Informants
Appendix B: Questionnaire
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Indiana University Press

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