Review by Booklist Review
To varying degrees, Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin all wrestled with "the woman question." Women in Russia and the Soviet Union have walked, and continue to walk, the tightrope of accommodation, resistance, and transformation. This volume traces their stories and the stories of their movements. Alphabetically arranged entries are organized into three parts corresponding to three distinct periods that encompass almost 200 years--the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries prior to the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917; the Soviet period, 1917-1991; and the transitional and post-Soviet periods, 1985-2000. The first two parts include only representative groups, movements, or individuals, reflecting the editors' desire to focus primarily on the post-Soviet era. Readers will find this to be an invaluable source for information on a broad range of topics, such as Russian peasant women, Soviet family policy, early Russian feminism, and women's activism in contemporary Russia. The editors have chosen a comprehensive definition of women's movements, encompassing Decembrist women active in Siberia in the 1830-1850s; Women's periodical publishing in late imperial Russia (1860-1905); Professional Union of Home Employees (1917-1920); Women in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922-1991); and Gender/Women's Studies in Russia (1990-). Also covered are women (Raisa Gorbacheva, Natal'ia Herzen, Nadezhda Krupskaia) who played a role in supporting or advancing the status of women. Introductions to each of the three parts provide good overviews of the periods covered. The signed entries conclude with cross-references and lists of suggested readings. Additional features include a chronology, a glossary of abbreviations and major terms, and a selective bibliography. Kudos to editors Noonan and Nechemias for tackling this complex subject matter and holding their contributors to high standards. Useful in academic and research libraries with reference collections on women or Russia and the Soviet Union, this title is also recommended for large public libraries.
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