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Love and the Party

Jane Miller, 2 July 1981

A Great Love 
by Alexandra Kollontai, translated by Cathy Porter.
Virago, 156 pp., £2.50, March 1981, 0 86068 188 2
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Love of Worker Bees 
by Alexandra Kollontai, translated by Cathy Porter.
Virago, 232 pp., £2.95, October 1977, 0 86068 006 1
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... and confusions between work and love are expressed by all the women in the six stories by Alexandra Kollontai which Virago have published recently in two volumes. Here, the nibbling and insensitive lover is Senya. The ear and neck are Natasha’s. When ‘A Great Love’, the long short story in which they appear, was published in 1923 ...

Pen Men

Elaine Showalter, 20 March 1986

Men and Feminism in Modern Literature 
by Declan Kiberd.
Macmillan, 250 pp., £13.95, September 1985, 0 333 38353 2
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Women Writing about Men 
by Jane Miller.
Virago, 256 pp., £10.95, January 1986, 0 86068 473 3
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Phallic Critiques: Masculinity and 20th-century Literature 
by Peter Schwenger.
Routledge, 172 pp., £29.50, September 1985, 0 7102 0164 8
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... the often hostile representation of men in the works of such writers as Richardson, Rebecca West, Alexandra Kollontai, Christina Stead, Jean Rhys, Doris Lessing, Toni Morrison and Alice Walker, Miller’s deliberately unsystematic readings have an impressive cumulative power. By the end of the book, as she discusses the work of black and working-class ...

To King’s Cross Station

Sheila Fitzpatrick: Lenin’s London, 7 January 2021

The Spark That Lit the Revolution: Lenin in London and the Politics That Changed the World 
by Robert Henderson.
I.B.Tauris, 270 pp., £17.99, March 2020, 978 1 78453 862 0
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... one who wasn’t interested in sexual emancipation – the opposite to the challenging Alexandra Kollontai and Lenin’s elegant later love, Inessa Armand. Krupskaya was a feminist, of course (she kept her own name after marriage, unlike Kollontai and Armand), but the women’s issues that concerned her ...

What’s going on, Eric?

David Renton: Rock Against Racism, 22 November 2018

Walls Come Tumbling Down: The Music and Politics of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge 
by Daniel Rachel.
Picador, 589 pp., £12.99, May 2017, 978 1 4472 7268 7
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... Fired up by the way the older campaigners dropped such names as Toussaint L’Ouverture, Alexandra Kollontai and Kurt Weill into the conversation, Webb left her job and became RAR’s first full-time worker, based in an office near the Marx Memorial Library in Clerkenwell. The first Rock Against Racism gig took place at the Princess Alice pub in ...

Unfair to Stalin

Robert Service, 17 March 1988

Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World 
by Mikhail Gorbachev.
Collins, 254 pp., £12.95, November 1987, 0 00 215660 1
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The Birth of Stalinism: The USSR on the Eve of the ‘Second Revolution’ 
by Michal Reiman, translated by George Saunders.
Tauris, 188 pp., £24.50, November 1987, 1 85043 066 7
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Stalin in October: The Man who Missed the Revolution 
by Robert Slusser.
Johns Hopkins, 281 pp., £20.25, December 1987, 0 8018 3457 0
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... before 1917, lacked faith in himself at his first open meetings – to the point of asking Alexandra Kollontai to speak on his behalf. The image of a more ‘human’ Lenin has begun to be fostered. It’s an image that has some basis in historical reality: but its present emergence is not unconnected with the regime’s instrumental need to ...

Out of the Great Dark Whale

Eric Hobsbawm, 31 October 1996

A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891-1924 
by Orlando Figes.
Cape, 923 pp., £20, August 1996, 0 224 04162 2
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... a village not too far from Moscow. The photographs of these five, together with Lenin, Trotsky and Alexandra Kollontai, make up the section of Figes’s extremely well-chosen illustrations headed ‘Dramatis Personae’. Unlike Schama’s Citizens, however, A People’s Tragedy asks to be judged not only as dramatic narrative, but as historical ...

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