Through in-depth interviews with activists, the authors provide a broad and thorough introduction to the emerging women's movement and women's organizations in Russia. The focus is on the development of women's activism in late Soviet and post-Soviet Russia and the challenges for activists in a time of resurgent nationalism and turmoil over democratic reform.
Linda Racioppi and Katherine O'Sullivan See present a concise history of women's situation in tsarist and Soviet Russia, which shows how their ability to organize was constrained by social strictures and state policies. They also analyze how the state-sponsored Soviet Women's Committee and new groups like the Independent Women's Forum, the Women's League, and the International Institute for Entrepreneurial Development responded to the challenges and opportunities of the transition. The authors examine the dynamics among these groups as well. The personal life histories of the activists reflect the ways women have responded to the changing political, economic, and social landscape in the former Soviet Union.
"For the student of social movements in general and women's movements in particular, the value of this book is in the diversity of groups and activists studied and the richness of detail. The variety of activists, ideologies, and organizational origins is striking.... Racioppi and O'Sullivan See have provided an important introduction to the study of Russian women's activism in the reform and post-communist periods, and anyone hoping to develop a more theoretical account would do well to start with this book."
"Linda Racioppi and Katherine O'Sullivan See have given us a model book on contemporary activism.... this is an ideal book for students in courses on post-communism or contemporary Russia—or for anyone with an interest in these topics."