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Bolshevik Women


  • 36 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 352 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.68 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 335.43/082/092247 B
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: HX313.7 .C64 1997
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Women communists--Soviet Union--Biography
    • Women revolutionaries--Soviet Union--Biography
    • Women and communism--Soviet Union--History
    • Women--Soviet Union--History
    • Women--Soviet Union--Social conditions

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521454032 | ISBN-10: 0521454034)

  • Also available in Paperback
  • Published August 1997

Replaced by 9780521599207


Bolshevik Women is a history of the women who joined the Soviet Communist Party before 1921. Drawing on a database of more than five hundred individuals as well as on intensive research into the lives of the most prominent female Bolsheviks, Barbara Clements tells the fascinating story of the female Reds who survived imprisonment, built bombs, led armies into battle, and struggled to survive under Stalin. The study argues that women were important members of the Communist Party during its formative years.


1. Becoming a revolutionary; 2. The underground; 3. The revolution; 4. The civil war; 5. The ruling class; 6. Recessional.

Prize Winner

Co-winner of the 1997 Heldt Prize for Best Book in Slavic/East European Women's Studies


"Clements's book is superbly written, based on a variety of archival materials--including some only recently opened to Western scholars....This prosopographic study of the Bolshevik women who joined the party before 1921 is an outstanding contribution to both the new social history and women's history." Choice

"This richly textured monograph, which received a 1997 Heldt prize from the Association for Women in Slavic Studies, combines an historical overview of the Bolshevik movement both in the prerevolutionary underground and in power through the Stalin era, an analysis of data about its female adherents as a class, and biographical sketches of seven of them. Integrating a carefully researched synopsis with tantalizing insights into individual lives and fates, the book should appeal to both scholars and students. Bolshevik Women documents comprehensively that anatomy was, indeed, destiny for the women of the party." Mary Zirin, The Russian Review

"the book is repelte with findings and incidents that illuminate events, provoke questions, and enrich scholars and students alike." Wendy Goldman, Slavic Review

"Bolshevik Women offers a rewarding account of two "generations" of women who participated in the revolution and in the formation of Soviet-society." Robert Lanning, Science & Society

"Clearly written, expertly researched, and very sensitive to sources and their potential problems, this book offers many new insights for specialists and general readers alike. it would make an outstanding choice as the repreentative work on the Russian revolutionary period for a general European history course or general history of women and gender, as well as a provocative and readable supplement for Russian history surveys." Diane P. Koenker, American Historical Review

"This is the first time that so much information has been gathered in one place about both prominent and rank and file Bolshevik women. Clements is to be commended for her diligent detective work and dedication to her task." Rochelle Ruthchild, American Journal of Sociology

"...Clements's most recent effort is a collective biography of Bolshevik women that draws on a data base containing 545 records. Clements marshals the data base to great effect when plotting the careers of the revolutionaries." Janet Hyer, Canadian Slavonic Papers

"...Clements is to be commended for her extensive and effective use of archival sources, documents, memoirs, diaries, and autobiographies, as well as newspaper and journal accounts, in order to bring to life this remarkable story of radical women in the Russian and Soviet Empires." Marian J. Rubchak, The Historian

"The study is written in a refreshing, straightforward style and is not overloaded with technical terms or footnotes. It addresses a large readership, which can profit from the book without much prior knowledge of Russian history..." Edith Rogovin Frankel, Journal of Modern History

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