The Defiant Life of Vera Figner

The Defiant Life of Vera Figner

Surviving the Russian Revolution
Lynne Ann Hartnett
Distribution: World
Publication date: 5/12/2014
Format: cloth 352 pages, 6 b&w illus.
6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-253-01284-5
Bookmark and Share

 Add to Wish List 

Other formats available:

Buy from Amazon


This engaging biography tells the dramatic story of a Russian noblewoman turned revolutionary terrorist. Born in 1852 in the last years of serfdom, Vera Figner came of age as Imperial Russian society was being rocked by the massive upheaval that culminated in the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. At first a champion of populist causes and women's higher education, Figner later became a leader of the terrorist party the People's Will and was an accomplice in the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881. Drawing on extensive archival research and careful reading of Figner's copious memoirs, Lynne Ann Hartnett reveals how Figner survived the Bolshevik revolution and Stalin's Great Purges and died a lionized revolutionary legend as the Nazis bore down on Moscow in 1942.

Author Bio

Lynne Ann Hartnett is Assistant Professor of History and Director of Russian Area Studies at Villanova University.


"Hartnett clearly depicts her subject’s gradual transformation from a severe ideologue into a revered martyr whose 'suffering became enshrined,' and the book revivifies a legendary socialist whose violent extremism evolved into humanitarianism on behalf of political prisoners and exiles sentenced to hard labor." —Publishers Weekly

"Hartnett made this hard-headed woman come to life, following her through the populist underground, into prison, and then out into the revolutionary era." —Barbara Evans Clements, author of A History of Women in Russia: From Earliest Times to the Present

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents

1. In the Twilight of a Fading Age

2. Age of Consciousness

3. Pioneers Diverted

4. Town and Country

5. The Tsar’s Death Sentence

6. Revolutionary Iconography

7. Transformation

8. Life and Death

9. Resurrection in Exile

10. An Old Revolutionary in a New Revolution

Revolutionary Survivor
Related Titles