Kristen Ghodsee reads Alexandra Kollontai's 1918 pamphlet: "Women Workers Struggle for their Rights."
Mentioned in this episode are the blurbs for Red Valkyries: Feminist Lessons from Five Revolutionary Women, forthcoming with Verso Books in July.
“Written with clarity and zest, Red Valkyries is an illuminating introduction to the extraordinary lives of prominent socialist women in the Soviet Union and Bulgaria.”
—Sheila Rowbotham, author of Daring to Hope
“In our historical moment, quotas of women in power positions and correct manners or expressions are obfuscating the long historical link between feminism and radical politics. Ghodsee’s Red Valkyries is exactly the book needed to correct this misperception and help feminism to rejoin its radical past. The five figures analyzed were fighters who pursued the feminist cause through their full engagement in revolutionary political struggle.”
—Slavoj Žižek, author of Pandemic! 2
“We’ve needed this book longer than we know: celebrating and learning from revolutionary socialist women, Red Valkyries gifts us with models essential to today’s struggles. Kristen Ghodsee breaks down the wall liberal feminism built in women’s history, bringing to life a vision of emancipation that continues to be worth fighting for.”
—Jodi Dean, author of Comrade
“Red Valkyries is a fascinating alternative history of the feminist movement, told from the perspective of the east rather than the west. The women Ghodsee profiles are committed socialists who realise that women’s liberation is incompatible with capitalism, and who also frequently struggle against the centralisation of power within their own countries. Required reading for anyone seeking out an alternative to #girlboss feminism.”
—Grace Blakeley, author of The Corona Crash
“A beautiful book about the intimate lives and bold ideas of Communist women who built theirrevolutionary dreams into reality. Ghodsee lifts up the immense contradiction between thefuture-oriented social hopes of these revolutionaries, these exiles from the future, and the grip ofthe social conventions of the present.”
—Vijay Prashad, author of Washington Bullets
“Until the late 20th century, you could pay close attention in school, graduate from a prestigious university with a degree in history and still never find out who Harriet Tubman was. Outrageous, right? But due to capitalist ideology and Cold War hangover, you could still do all that and never learn about Alexandra Kollontai or Inessa Armand, or any of history’s great Communist women. Kristen Ghodsee’s riveting account of these complicated, imperfect and inspiring lives is an outstanding corrective to our miseducation, one that’s long overdue.”
—Liza Featherstone, Jacobin
“Funny and politically illuminating, Ghodsee writes with the clear-sighted directness of the revolutionary women she describes. Women’s sexual, political and daily emancipation were the eye of the socialist storm for Kollant
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