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Surmounting the Barricades : Women in the Paris Commune - Carolyn J. Eichner

Surmounting the Barricades

Women in the Paris Commune

Paperback Published: 12th November 2004
ISBN: 9780253217059
Number Of Pages: 279

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This book vividly evokes radical women's integral roles within France's revolutionary civil war known as the Paris Commune. It demonstrates the breadth, depth, and impact of communard feminist socialisms far beyond the 1871 insurrection. Examining the period from the early 1860s through that century's end, Carolyn J. Eichner investigates how radical women developed critiques of gender, class, and religious hierarchies in the immediate pre-Commune era, how these ideologies emerged as a plurality of feminist socialisms within the revolution, and how these varied politics subsequently affected fin-de-siA]cle gender and class relations. She focuses on three distinctly dissimilar revolutionary women leaders who exemplify multiple competing and complementary feminist socialisms: Andre Leo, Elisabeth Dmitrieff, and Paule Mink. Leo theorized and educated through journalism and fiction, Dmitrieff organized institutional power for working-class women, and Mink agitated crowds to create an egalitarian socialist world. Each woman forged her own path to gender equality and social justice.

For 72 days following the disastrous 1871 Franco-Prussian War, working-class and socialist Parisians challenged the French government. At the end of May 1871, the French Army stormed the city, attacked the insurgents' barricades, and left over 25,000 rebels dead. Most textbooks ignore the role women played in this revolt. Eichner (women's studies, Univ. of South Florida) corrects this oversight. She uses three revolutionaries, Elisabeth Dmitrieff, Andre Leo, and Paule Mink to represent the greater number of nameless female communards who challenged the strict gender and class boundaries that relegated French women to a status equal to that of minor children. Chapters explore the short-lived Commune from a refreshingly new feminist perspective. Each of the three women brought their different strengths to this revolt, representing the differing constituencies of women present on the barricades. Dmitrieff excelled at labor organizing, Leo used her writing skills to challenge the accepted roles allocated by French society to all women, and Mink specialized in grassroots activism. Despite the failure of the Commune, all of Eichner's protagonists continued their public activism, refusing to allow their dreams for an egalitarian society to die. Summing Up: Recommended. Most academic levels/libraries.--R. V. A. Gomez "Anne Arundel Community College, 2005oct CHOICE "

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Before
The Actors and the Actionp. 17
Politics and Ideas: Staging the Strugglep. 36
During
Elisabeth Dmitrieff and the Union des femmes Revolutionizing Women's Laborp. 69
Andre Leo and the Subversion of Gender The Battle over Women's Placep. 97
Paule Mink and the Clubistes Anti-Clericalism and Popular Revolutionp. 129
After
Dmitrieff and Leo in the Aftermath Radical Denouementp. 153
Mink in the Aftermath The Red Flag and the Futurep. 179
Conclusionp. 202
Notesp. 213
Bibliographyp. 255
Indexp. 273
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780253217059
ISBN-10: 0253217059
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 279
Published: 12th November 2004
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.48