This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
Surviving domestic abuse and Siberian exile, Maria Bochkareva resolved to fight for the Motherland in the Great Patriotic War and, against all odds, succeeded. Her stories from the front are harrowing and gritty. But they are only the beginning. For when the military falls apart in the wake of the February Revolution, Bochkareva creates an all-women’s battalion as a way of shaming Russia’s men back into defending the country from German aggression.
As a first-hand account of Russian life a century ago, this is a crucial autobiography. That it also offers a portrait of a bold and brave woman striving for equality and respect by flying in the face of convention and tradition makes it invaluable.