The Baba and the Comrade
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The Baba and the Comrade : Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Russia

4.06 (16 ratings by Goodreads)
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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 ReviewThis 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 ReviewWood'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 BooksHow 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.show more

Product details

  • Book | 328 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 25.4mm | 498.95g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0253214300
  • 9780253214300
  • 1,301,424

Table of contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:AcknowledgmentsIntroductionI. The Woman Question1. The Bolsheviks and the Genealogy of the Woman QuestionII. Gender in the Context of State-Making and Civil War2. Sharp Eyes and Tender Hearts: Passing New Legislation and Fighting the Civil War3. Identity and Organization: Creating the Women's Sections of the Communist Party4. War Communism at Its Height: Lobbying on Behalf of Women WorkersIII. The New Threat to the Social Contract5. The Liquidation Crisis in Zhenotdel Politics6. The Crisis in Economics: The Social Contract Endangered7. The New Threat: Zhenotdel Criticisms of the Social Costs of NEP8. Daily Life and Gender TransformationConclusionNotesBibliographyIndexshow more

Review quote

" ... 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- Russiashow more

Rating details

16 ratings
4.06 out of 5 stars
5 19% (3)
4 69% (11)
3 12% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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