Description - Alexandra Kollontai by Cathy Porter
Porters book traces Kollontais development as a Marxist as well as her growing concern with the position of women in Russias backward economy. From early on, Kollontai fought for the Russian revolutionary movement to take work amongst women workers and peasants seriously. In this she was often derided or ignored as this was seen to be a distraction from the more important task of developing revolutionary politics and ideas. Kollontai also faced the sexism of the early socialist movement, and after her exile to Germany, the entrenched ideas of the German socialist parties. One of the most interesting chapters in this biogrpahy is the section where Porter looks at Kollontais experiences in Germany. A popular and passionate speaker, she toured the country speaking to crowds of workers, trying to win them to the German SPD. In this she was enormously successful, though the partys bureaucrats where often less sure of her arguments around the emancipation of women.
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The Merlin Press Ltd
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Author Biography - Cathy Porter
Cathy Porter has translated over thirty books and plays from Russian, including The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy and, most recently, Dmitry Bykov's award-winning novel Living Souls. She is the author of several books: about women terrorists in tsarist Russia, on political art in the 1905 revolution and on Moscow in the Second World War. She has written a biography of the revolutionary Larissa Reisner, and is now compiling a new anthology of Kollontai's writings.