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The Baba and the Comrade : Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Russia - Elizabeth A. Wood

The Baba and the Comrade

Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Russia

Paperback

Published: 22nd July 2000
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"Meticulously researched, impressively documented, and engrossingly written, ... it] contributes to a long-overdue reconception of the New Economic Policy (NEP)...." -- Choice

..". a well-organized, sophisticated analysis of the difficulties involved in attempting to reconcile ideology with political, economic, and cultural realities.: -- The Russian Review

..". a highly persuasive, revealing, and well-documented account of early Bolshevik policy, practice, and language pertaining to the 'baba problem' and the unexpected ways female and male comrades responded to the party-state's tutelary role toward women." -- Slavic Review

"This is a rich and densely argued study that embeds the story of the zhenotdel in the context of the political struggles and institutional structures of this formative period of the Russian Revolution. Wood demonstrates clearly the dilemma of whether women party activists should serve the party or their constituents." -- American Historical Review

"Wood's convincing work is a welcome addition to the growing literature on the gender-role traditionalism the Communists reinstitutionalized with their revolution." -- The Women's Review of Books

How could the baba -- traditionally, the "backward" Russian woman -- be mobilized as a "comrade" in the construction of a new state and society? Drawing on recently opened archives, Elizabeth A. Wood explains why the Bolsheviks proved unable and ultimately unwilling to realize their ideological notions of a gender-neutral society. Focusing on the creation and activities of the zhenotdel, a special women's section within the Russian Communist Party, Wood reconstructs the ways in which notions of gender sameness and difference both facilitated and complicated Bolshevik efforts at state building during the Civil War and the New Economic Policy.

" ... a highly persuasive, revealing, and well-documented account of early Bolshevik policy, practice, and language pertaining to the 'baba problem' and the unexpected ways female and male comrades responded to the party-state's tutelary role toward women." --Slavic Review "... a well-organised, sophisticated analysis of the difficulties involved in attempting to reconcile ideology with political, economic, and cultural realities." --The Russian Review "Meticulously researched, impressively documented, and engrossingly written, [the] work is much more than an examination of the successes, tribulations, and obstacles experienced by the zhenotdely (Soviet women's sections)... contributes to a long-overdue reconception of the New Economic Policy" Choice " ... a well-organised, sophisticated analysis of the difficulties involved in attempting to reconcile ideology with political, economic, and cultural realities." --The Russian Review " ... a highly persuasive, revealing, and well-documented account of early Bolshevik policy, practice, and language pertaining to the "baba problem" and the unexpected ways female and male comrades responded to the party-state's tutelary role toward women." --Slavic Review "This is a rich and densely argued study that embeds the story of the zhenotdel in the context of the political struggles and institutional structures of this formative period of the Russian Revolution. Wood demonstrates clearly the dilemma of whether women party activists should serve the party or their constituents." --American Historical Review "Wood's convincing work is a welcome addition to the growing literature on the gender-role traditionalism the Communists reinstitutionalized with their revolution." --The Women's Review of Books "Wood enriches the existing tradition of women's history by focusing not only on the experience of real women's lives, but also on 'gender as an organising principle.' ... This book will be of particular interest to specialists in and students of the early Soviet state and gender studies." --H- Russia

Acknowledgments
Introductionp. 1
The Woman Question
The Bolsheviks and the Genealogy of the Woman Questionp. 13
Gender in the Context of State-Making and Civil War
Sharp Eyes and Tender Hearts: Passing New Legislation and Fighting the Civil Warp. 49
Identity and Organization: Creating the Women's Sections of the Communist Partyp. 68
War Communism at Its Height: Lobbying on Behalf of Women Workersp. 99
The New Threat to the Social Contract
The Liquidation Crisis in Zhenotdel Politicsp. 127
The Crisis in Economics: The Social Contract Endangeredp. 147
The New Threat: Zhenotdel Criticisms of the Social Costs of NEPp. 170
Daily Life and Gender Transformationp. 194
Conclusionp. 215
Notesp. 223
Bibliographyp. 289
Indexp. 311
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780253214300
ISBN-10: 0253214300
Series: Indiana-Michigan Series in Russian & East European Studies (Paperback)
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 328
Published: 22nd July 2000
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.39 x 15.6  x 1.88
Weight (kg): 0.51