How could the babatraditionally, the "backward" Russian womanbe mobilized as a "comrade" in the construction of a new state and society? Drawing on newly available archival materials, Elizabeth A. Wood explores the Bolshevik government's campaign to draw women into the public sphere and involve them in the world of politics in the early Soviet years. A central focus is the creation and activities of the zhenotdel, a special women's section within the Russian Communist Party whose mission was to appeal to women workers and enlist them in the revolutionary struggle. Making imaginative use of the prevailing Russian images of maleness and femaleness, Wood reconstructs how notions of gender sameness and difference both facilitated and complicated Bolshevik efforts at state building during the Civil War and the New Economic Policy.
About the Author:
Elizabeth A. Wood is Associate Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
. . . well-researched and skillfully written . . . a welcome addition to the historical narrative on Soviet gender policy.