history:stalin notes Essay

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Attwood, Lynne. Creating the New Soviet Woman: Women’s Magazines as Engineers of Female Identity, 1922-53. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1999. In the aftermath of the Revolution, Bolsheviks were committed to creating a new type of person that would be willing to be subordinate to the interests of the rest of society. In particular, this applied to women, who were responsible for creating and shaping the next generation of Soviets. Attwood explores how this “new womanhood” was presented, based on two major women’s magazines of the time. Chatterjee, Choi. Celebrating Women: Gender, Festival Culture, and Bolshevik Ideology, 1910-1939. 1st ed. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002. Chatterjee analyses the festival of Women’s Day, which was adopted in 1913 by the Bolsheviks. The celebration of this festival shaped the ideal Soviet woman as a strong figure. Through this, Chatterjee examines how this defined the role of women in Communist society, and the construction of Soviet womanhood. By exploring the construction of gender within the confines of this festival, Chatterjee shows how the Bolshevik’s ideology was both put into practice and ignored with regards to women. Lapidus, Gail Warshofsky. Women in Soviet Society: Equality, Development, and Social Change. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978.
Officially, Soviets wanted to liberate women from their roles as domestic leaders. Lapidus looks at the consequences of the policies that the Soviets enacted in order to reach this goal. By looking at attempts to reach social equality, Lapidus determines how much equality women were actually afforded during this period. She examines how women measured up compared to their male counterparts of the time, and how this fit in with the established ideals of the Bolsheviks about women. Reid, Susan E. “All Stalin’s Women: Gender and Power in Soviet Art of the 1930s.” Slavic Review 57, no. 1 (1998): 133-173. Reid looks at visual representations of women during the 1930s, and how it plays into the Soviet ideal of women. In art of the time, women were meant to stand for the people as a whole, and were therefore portrayed as a subordinated group. In Soviet art, women fulfilled traditional gender roles, which reflect on the thinking of the time with regards to women’s rights. By examining art, one will see how women were perceived in popular thinking. Stites, Richard. The Women’s Liberation Movement in Russia: Feminism, Nihilism, and Bolshevism, 1860-1930. 1978 Edition. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978
Stites chronicles women in the pre-Bolshevik period through Stalin’s regime. This will be useful to see the changes in womanhood over time. He discusses the feminist responses to the changes that the Bolsheviks enacted, and how these changes affected gender politics in the country. Looking at how feminism coexisted with Bolshevism will help give a broader picture of women’s struggles during this time period. Wood, Elizabeth A. The Baba and the Comrade Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Russia. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997. Wood explains the history of women’s issues in Russia, beginning with the…