A Revolution Of Their Own: Voices Of Women In Soviet History

A series of interviews conducted in the late 1990s with women who were born (mostly) before the 1917 revolution and who lived through the resulting tumult of upheaval, wars, economic uncertainty and Stalin, this book contains a rare glimpse at village life and city life under the Soviets. In some cases, the women’s privilege was swept away by the revolution (if her family had been relatively better off than the rest of the village) and in others, the working class roots of her family served to catapult her into the highest reaches of society (especially once she joined the Communist Party). Almost all of the women, despite their success or failure in the system, appear to be teetering near abject poverty at the time of the interviews, clearly the system has not worked to provide a safety net even for decorated female war veterans. The pages are packed with details– a father protecting his family from typhus by tacking up juniper in the house, the ambivalence of villages to whether the Reds or the Whites were in control, the appreciation for schooling that seemed universal and one of the only real successes of the system. Naturally, the age old problem of how to control birth rate and the terrible measures resorted to once abortion banned. The fact that religious life continued, just underground, with annual celebrations of Easter and Christmas (re-branded by the Soviets as “New Year” and Christmas trees allowed back). Overall an incredible resource; very fortunate to have Posadskaya’s interviews culled down into a readable document.
Reco’d by the Alastair Crowley lookalike @ Trotsky lecture