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Products for grant DR-272610-20

Open Access Edition of "American Girls in Red Russia: Chasing the Soviet Dream" by Julia L. Mickenberg
Alan Thomas, University of Chicago

Grant details:

Single Publication (Open Access eBook or Collection)
Publication Type: Single Publication
Title: American Girls in Red Russia: Chasing the Soviet Dream [Open-access ebook edition]
Year: 2022
ISBN: 9780226256269
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Author: Julia L. Mickenberg
Editor: Timothy Mennel
Abstract: If you were an independent, adventurous, liberated American woman in the 1920s or 1930s where might you have sought escape from the constraints and compromises of bourgeois living? Paris and the Left Bank quickly come to mind. But would you have ever thought of Russia and the wilds of Siberia? This choice was not as unusual as it seems now. As Julia L. Mickenberg uncovers in American Girls in Red Russia, there is a forgotten counterpoint to the story of the Lost Generation: beginning in the late nineteenth century, Russian revolutionary ideology attracted many women, including suffragists, reformers, educators, journalists, and artists, as well as curious travelers. Some were famous, like Isadora Duncan or Lillian Hellman; some were committed radicals, though more were just intrigued by the “Soviet experiment.” But all came to Russia in search of social arrangements that would be more equitable, just, and satisfying. And most in the end were disillusioned, some by the mundane realities, others by horrifying truths. Mickenberg reveals the complex motives that drew American women to Russia as they sought models for a revolutionary new era in which women would be not merely independent of men, but also equal builders of a new society. Soviet women, after all, earned the right to vote in 1917, and they also had abortion rights, property rights, the right to divorce, maternity benefits, and state-supported childcare. Even women from Soviet national minorities—many recently unveiled—became public figures, as African American and Jewish women noted. Yet as Mickenberg’s collective biography shows, Russia turned out to be as much a grim commune as a utopia of freedom, replete with economic, social, and sexual inequities.
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Open-access landing page
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: University of Chicago Press product page
Type: Single author monograph