A History of Women in Russia

A History of Women in Russia

From Earliest Times to the Present
Barbara Evans Clements
Distribution: World
Publication date: 6/8/2012
Format: paper 416 pages, 18 b&w illus.
6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-253-00101-6
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A Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2013
Synthesizing several decades of scholarship by historians East and West, Barbara Evans Clements traces the major developments in the history of women in Russia and their impact on the history of the nation. Sketching lived experiences across the centuries, she demonstrates the key roles that women played in shaping Russia's political, economic, social, and cultural development for over a millennium. The story Clements tells is one of hardship and endurance, but also one of achievement by women who, for example, promoted the conversion to Christianity, governed estates, created great art, rebelled against the government, established charities, built the tanks that rolled into Berlin in 1945, and flew the planes that strafed the retreating Wehrmacht. This daunting and complex history is presented in an engaging survey that integrates this scholarship into the field of Russian and post-Soviet history.

Author Bio

Barbara Evans Clements is Professor of History Emerita, University of Akron. She is author of Bolshevik Feminist: The Life of Aleksandra Kollontai (IUP, 1979), Bolshevik Women, and Daughters of Revolution: A History of Women in the USSR and editor (with Barbara Alpern Engel and Christine D. Worobec) of Russia's Women: Accommodation, Resistance, Transformation.


"The product of a lifetime of engagement by one of the preeminent authorities on the history of Russian women, the book reflects the author's deep expertise in primary sources as well as her familiarity with the secondary literature." —Choi Chatterjee, California State University Los Angeles

"Clements's writing is engaging, clear, and jargon free, making this book easily accessible to a general audience. . . . Highly recommended." —

"Barbara Clements’s excellent book broadens our vision of Russian politics, economics, and society, incorporating the latest scholarship to demonstrate women’s centrality to the overall picture." —Russian Review

"This daunting and complex history is presented in an engaging survey that integrates this scholarship into the field of Russian and post-Soviet history." —Journal of Turkish Weekly

"[This] book constitutes an informative, often thought-provoking, and always engaging read." —Women's History Review

"This history by Barbara Evans Clements represents a significant achievement in scholarship on Russian women and gender. . . . Among this text's many strengths are its lucidity, readability, and engaging synthesis of a large number of both primary and secondary sources. . . . Its erudite contextualization of the history of Russian women within a larger European framework ensures its interest for and accessibility to a wide readership, especially those outside of the Slavic field." —Slavic and East European Journal

"Without minimizing the difficulties women have faced, this book is an antidote to the often condescending, as well as negative, histories of the position of women in Russia. Above all, it allows the reader to hear what a rich variety of these women have to say about themselves, rather than simply speaking for them." —Slavonica

"[P]rovides a wealth of information . . . ." —H-Soz-u-Kult

"This work represents the culmination of [Clements's] impressive academic career, showcasing as it does her deep and wide-ranging knowledge of the history of women in Russia as well as her own interpretation of the meaning and significance of that narrative. Clements’s style here is accessible without compromising the scholarly quality of the discussion and analysis, and combines the grand sweep of Russian history with detailed snapshots of women’s lives." —Revolutionary Russia

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Table of Contents

A Sketch of the Historiography
1 The Women of the Rus, 900-1460
2 The Age of
The Domostroi, 1462-1695
3 Empresses and Serfs, 1695-1855
4 Industrialization and Urbanization, 1855-1914
5 Activist Women and Revolutionary Change, 1890-1930
6 Toil, Terror, and Triumphs, 1930-53
7 Making Better Lives, 1953-1991
8 Gains and Losses, 1991-2010
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