[UCP Books]: American Girls in Red Russia: Chasing the Soviet Dream by Julia L. Mickenberg

“American Girls in Red Russia is equally inspiring and disheartening, and it is a reminder of the lengths one can and should go to stand by one’s beliefs, while also reminding us that one can never quite go far enough.”—Jessa Crispin, author of The Dead Ladies Project

 



 

American Girls in Red Russia
Chasing the Soviet Dream
Julia L. Mickenberg

US Publication: May 1, 2017 / International Publication: June 6, 2017
Cloth / $35.00 / £26.50


 



 

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. As Mickenberg reveals in these forgotten true stories, most of the women were disillusioned in the end, some by the mundane realities, others by horrifying truths.

 


 

Julia L. Mickenberg is associate professor of American studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is author of Learning from the Left: Children’s Literature, the Cold War, and Radical Politics in the United States and coeditor of Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children’s Literature. She is available for interviews. Please contact Levi Stahl at (773) 702-0289 or levi@uchicago.edu

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