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Books for changing the world
The Women's Revolution
Russia 1905–1917

The dominant view of the Russian Revolution of 1917 is of a movement led by prominent men like Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky. Despite the demonstrations of female workers for ‘bread and herrings’, which sparked the February Revolution, in most historical accounts of this momentous period, women are too often relegated to the footnotes. Judy Cox argues that women were essential to the success of the revolution and to the development of the Bolshevik Party. With biographical sketches of famous female revolutionaries like Alexandra Kollontai and less well-known figures like Elena Stasova and Larissa Reisner, The Women’s Revolution tells the inspiring story of how Russian women threw off centuries of oppression to strike, organize, liberate themselves and ultimately try to build a new world based on equality and freedom for all.

Judy Cox is a longstanding socialist and campaigner. She lives and works in Tower Hamlets, East London, where she is a primary school teacher. She is currently researching the activities of working-class women in nineteenth-century radical movements. She has written on Rosa Luxembourg, Robin Hood, William Blake, and Marx’s theory of alienation.

  • "In The Women’s Revolution, Judy Cox places women at the center of revolutionary organizing, agitation, and leadership in Russia. Her lively narrative ties Russian women’s activism to that of other women in the European revolutionary tradition. Cox’s vivid accounts of women’s contributions at all levels of the Bolshevik party organization turn the table on those histories that marginalize women revolutionaries."
    --Barbara C. Allen, editor and translator, Leaflets of the Russian Revolution: Socialist Organizing in 1917

    "This is a story of women fighting at barricades, of women theorizing capitalism, of women robbing trains, and women smuggling weapons to fight the Tsar. Judy Cox has recovered for us not a narrative of "achievements" by "exceptional" women. But rather the more important history of how ordinary women, with revolutionary intentionality, fought, and nearly won, against capital. They are the true foremothers of Feminism for the 99%."
    --Tithi Bhattacharya, co-author Feminism for the 99%
    "Women's Revolution is an important reminder of the key role women played in the Russian Revolution of 1917. From Nadezhda Krupskaya to Alexandra Kollontai, women not only strategized about how to overturn the Tsarist regime and build a communist society, but also theorized and attempted to put into practice how such a new society could rid itself of entrenched misogyny."
    -Sara R. Farris, author, In the Name of Women's Rights:The Rise of Femonationalism

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