In the Shadow of Revolution: Life Stories of Russian Women from 1917 to the Second World War (Paperback)

Life Stories of Russian Women from 1917 to the Second World War

By Sheila Fitzpatrick (Editor), Yuri Slezkine (Editor)

Princeton University Press, 9780691019499, 456pp.

Publication Date: May 21, 2000

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Description

Asked shortly after the revolution about how she viewed the new government, Tatiana Varsher replied, "With the wide-open eyes of a historian." Her countrywoman, Zinaida Zhemchuzhnaia, expressed a similar need to take note: "I want to write about the way those events were perceived and reflected in the humble and distant corner of Russia that was the Cossack town of Korenovskaia." What these women witnessed and experienced, and what they were moved to describe, is part of the extraordinary portrait of life in revolutionary Russia presented in this book. A collection of life stories of Russian women in the first half of the twentieth century, In the Shadow of Revolution brings together the testimony of Soviet citizens and emigres, intellectuals of aristocratic birth and Soviet milkmaids, housewives and engineers, Bolshevik activists and dedicated opponents of the Soviet regime. In literary memoirs, oral interviews, personal dossiers, public speeches, and letters to the editor, these women document their diverse experience of the upheavals that reshaped Russia in the first half of this century.


As is characteristic of twentieth-century Russian women's autobiographies, these life stories take their structure not so much from private events like childbirth or marriage as from great public events. Accordingly the collection is structured around the events these women see as touchstones: the Revolution of 1917 and the Civil War of 1918-20; the switch to the New Economic Policy in the 1920s and collectivization; and the Stalinist society of the 1930s, including the Great Terror. Edited by two preeminent historians of Russia and the Soviet Union, the volume includes introductions that investigate the social historical context of these women's lives as well as the structure of their autobiographical narratives.



About the Author

Sheila Fitzpatrick is the Bernadotte E. Schmitt Distinguished Service Professor in History at the University of Chicago and coeditor of The Journal of Modern History. She is the author of, most recently, Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s and Accusatory Practices: Denunciation in Modern European History, 1789-1989. Yuri Slezkine is Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the coeditor of Between Heaven and Hell: The Myth of Siberia in Russian Culture and the author of Arctic Mirrors: Russia and the Small Peoples of the North.
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