Haymarket Books
Books for changing the world
Menu
Menu
9781608463688-f_medium
Alexandra Kollontai
A Biography
Kollotai was a brilliant and passionate defender of the ideals of the Russian revolution and women's liberation.

Alexandra Kollontai was a key leader of the Russian Socialist movement, the only woman in the early Soviet government, and one of the most famous women in Russian history. She worked tirelessly all her life as a speaker, writer, and organizer for women's emancipation. This compelling biography recounts her life for an emerging generation of fighters for women's liberation.

Cathy Porter is a translator, teacher, and researcher on Russian history. She is the author of Fathers and Daughters: Russian Women in Revolution and translator of Alexandra Kollontai's Love of Worker Bees.

Reviews

  • "A very detailed life-story of this extraordinary woman . . . Cathy Porter has written a sad, serious, and very readable book . . ." —Tamara Deutscher, Marxism Today (first edition)

    "Alexandra Kollontai has the potential to be a true delight for the connoisseur by providing an alternative historical account of Russia and the socialist movement. However, what makes it transcend time is Kollontai's chief belief that women should be at the centre of the economy, not the periphery" —Spokeman

    "an interesting and detailed account of some of the most exciting years in working class history" —Socialist Review

Related blog posts View all related posts

  • The Russian Revolution Reading List from Haymarket Books



    In the first in a series of articles commemorating the centenary of the Russian Revolution, the New York Times tremulously wondered whether today’s economic anxieties might lead to a resurgence of interest in communism. We at Haymarket Books have often wondered this ourselves, but for altogether different reasons than the good folks at the Times.

    Continue Reading

  • How Women Workers in Russia Sparked a Revolution

    International Women’s Day in 2017 is the most politicized in years, with marches and strikes organized around the world. Haymarket’s Dana Blanchard looks back to when, a century ago today, such action set off a chain of events that would culminate in the world’s first proletarian revolution.


    One of the greatest lessons the Russian state learned on March 8, 1917 was never to underestimate the women of Petrograd. On that fateful morning, International Women’s Day, women workers threw down their tools and walked out of the factories and into the streets. They were met by thousands more women, many of them soldiers’ wives tired of watching their children slowly starve, who were protesting the endless war and the long bread lines that had been a feature of the city since the war began in 1914. This was a powerful economic and political statement—women workers were 47 percent of the workforce in Petrograd at the time—and inspired male workers to walk off the job too, effectively shutting down the city’s economy and putting the government of Tsar Nicholas II on notice that the women and the workers wanted fundamental change.

    Continue Reading