Newsletter   Secure Checkout   Shopping Cart (0 Items)  
Search:    Welcome Guest! Save up to 30-40% on most items with our awesome everyday discounts!

The Essential Alexandra Kollontai [Paperback]

Our Price $ 10.50  
Retail Value $ 15.00  
You Save $ 4.50  (30%)  
Item Number 258465  
Buy New $10.50
Out Of Stock!
Currently Out Of Stock
Currently unavailable...

Item description for The Essential Alexandra Kollontai by Sharon Smith Alexandra Kollontai...

This is a collection of the work of Alexandra Kollontai, a leading member of Russia's Bolshevik Party and an integral part of the international women's movement. It encompasses her groundbreaking writings on sexual morality under capitalism, women's oppression, the family, and women's role in the Russian Revolution. This book is now available to today's activists and scholars with a new introduction by Sharon Smith.

Promise Angels is dedicated to bringing you great books at great prices. Whether you read for entertainment, to learn, or for literacy - you will find what you want at!

Item Specifications...

Pages   250
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2008
Publisher   Haymarket Books
ISBN  1931859310  
ISBN13  9781931859318  

Availability  0 units.

More About Sharon Smith Alexandra Kollontai

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Are You The Artisan or Author behind this product?
Improve our customers experience by registering for an Artisan Biography Center Homepage.

Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Womens Studies > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Essential Alexandra Kollontai?

Relevant?   Nov 6, 2004
Lately as I have been rereading texts by such writers and thinkers as Alexandra Kollontai, Rosa Luxemburg and later analysis of their thinking by Raya Dunayevskaya, I ask myself the same question people ask me, perplexed as they see that I am reading something so "outdated" about a system that was "proven wrong": is this information relevant today, aside from the historical perspective gained from it? Yes, I argue that it is very relevant. It proves, if nothing else, that issues, particularly for women, that were issues 100 years ago are still issues today. Many societies have made little or no social progress, and some have arguably moved backwards.

This particular book, with analysis from Alix Holt, is quite useful and telling because Holt provides a context and an even-handed critique of Kollontai's writing. Kollontai has been dismissed by many as an overly idealistic thinker, and her thoughts on family and sexuality have earned Kollontai an undeserved reputation as someone who advocated sexual promiscuity and irresponsibility as well as "moral decay". Naturally these analyses are overly simplistic; Kollontai was a revolutionary (not just in the traditional sense, having participated actively in the Russian Revolution and serving as Lenin's only female commissar, but also a revolutionary on social norms and sociology). Kollontai questioned the role of family in society and predicted that "family" as the nuclear unit would cease to exist (under socialism/Communism, in her evaluation) because family is an economic/need-based construct. The erosion of the family unit as economic unit would change the dynamics between men and women and would create the need for in depth evaluation of sexuality and the basis for relationships. Kollontai asked many questions on this topic in earnest, which were integral questions to the development of Soviet society (beset by major problems as it was) yet as time went on, her ideas were marginalized and even demonized. As the Soviet propaganda machine grew (mostly under Stalin), Kollontai no longer had a voice. Suddenly these ideas, in the words of Alix Holt, "became more and more preposterous and the party quite sensibly put its foot down. In actual fact, things were quite otherwise, for her ideas changed very little. It was the attitudes of men and women both inside and outside the party that were changing and giving rise to objections against what had previously been accepted without question." Kollontai watched the Revolution for which she had fought (and in the name of which she had been blind and naive to many realities) be co-opted by the Stalin personality cult and excessive bureaucracy. It is evident that Kollontai was a personality more than a philosopher. She had beliefs and ideas, but she, as Holt points out in later analysis, failed to form her observations into real and meaningful analysis. Many of her most striking ideas are barely developed. Kollontai objected to being linked with a women's movement or a feminist movement in her time because she felt that women's rights would be part and parcel of any successful proletarian revolution, and that equality would be achieved automatically. This is part of Kollontai's short-sightedness, faithfully documented in this book and analyzed by Holt. Kollontai had valuable ideas she never researched or explored fully; she recognized intrinsic problems within society (particularly those pertaining to women and children), but she blindly accepted that the revolution and the Soviet government would take care of all these things. By the time she realized that the "dream" was slipping away, it was too late. Stalin had the power to silence her one way or another (she is one of the few to survive the purges, although it can be argued that she was sidelined effectively by being sent as Soviet ambassador to Norway, Mexico, etc.)

This book coupled with other readings about or by Kollontai give a vivid picture of Russia during and after the revolution and the hopes many people shared for building a worker's society. The book also illustrates, as I stated, how the same concerns that Kollontai and colleagues faced in forming a new government still plague society today. Although strides have been made in "granting" women more equality, they are still not "equal" in many regards. Kollontai, who was so ahead of her time, gives modern women pause to consider that if serious feminist and equality matters are STILL problematic now, almost 100 years after Kollontai was fighting for the equality of all people, we have not really "blazed the trail" to women's rights. At the same time, though, it is not just society "holding women back" but also the attitudes of many women themselves. (For example, Bill Maher said that when women want to elect a woman to the US presidency, they will. They have the majority. It is not society necessarily that isn't ready; perhaps it's women themselves.) Unfortunately Kollontai faced an uphill battle educating people as to their individual rights and responsibilities... we still face this issue now. Relevant? Absolutely so.

Write your own review about The Essential Alexandra Kollontai

Ask A Question or Provide Feedback regarding The Essential Alexandra Kollontai

Item Feedback and Product Questions
For immediate assistance call 888.395.0572 during the hours of 10am thru 8pm EST Monday thru Friday and a customer care representative will be happy to help you!

Help us continuously improve our service by reporting your feedback or questions below:

I have a question regarding this product
The information above is incorrect or conflicting
The page has misspellings or incorrect grammar
The page did not load correctly in my browser or created an error.

Email Address:
Anti Spam Question. To combat spammers we require that you answer a simple question.
What color is the sky?
Leave This Blank :
Do Not Change This Text :

Add This Product Widget To Your Website

Looking to add this information to your own website? Then use our Product Widget to allow you to display product information in a frame that is 120 pixels wide by 240 pixels high.

    Copy and paste the following HTML into your website and enjoy!

Order toll-free weekdays 10am thru 10pm EST by phone: 1-888-395-0572 (Lines are closed on holidays & weekends.)
Customer Service | My Account | Track My Orders | Return Policy | Request Free Catalog | Email Newsletter

Gift Certificates
RSS Feeds
About Us
Contact Us
Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy