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Annotated Bibliography - Nina Lugovskaya

From Women in European History


1)Matthews, Owen. Stalin's children: Three generations of love and war. London: Bloomsbury, 2008.

The book takes a case study of a family’s unique experiences amid changing social and political sphere in pre and post-Stalinist Russia. It is a similar story to Nina’s diary where the author describes the hardships of living during the Stalinist regime and the life without her father. This story also captures human emotions beyond the description of the political ideologies.

2)Gorsuch, Anne. Youth in Revolutionary Russia: Enthusiasts, Bohemians, Delinquents. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000.

The book gives a rather historical and sociological overview of the political transformation and cultural transformation of the Soviet society. It describes the making of the new communist society through cultural enlightenment and transformation of the youth. I relation to Nina’s autobiography, this book links the revolutionary societal transformations with the role of gender and social dynamics that are inferred in her diary.

3)Kirschenbaum, Lisa A. Small Comrades: Revolutionizing childhood in Soviet Russia,1917-1932. New York: RoutledgeFalmer, 2001.

This work is important because it examines the Soviet conceptions of childhood and the resulting policies directed toward the young children. In regards to Nina’s diary, this work gives a good historical and ideological study of the Soviet cultural policies that were directed toward the youth and were aimed to transform the new generation. The children as subjects of policies and politics is the ideology with which Nina disagrees and tries to escape from being formatted by the new regime.

4)Lugavskaya, Nina. The Diary of a Soviet schoolgirl: 1932-1937. Chicago: Northwestern University Press, 2003.

Nina’s diary in one of the only diaries that has emerged from the NKVD archives since 1991. It covers her teenage years during which her family has gone through multiple secret police searches, her father is being arrested and Nina is herself the victim of facial disformalities, which become her greatest fear and shame. Beyond her personal expressions, she also uses this private diary space to criticize the Bolshevik regime and their ridiculous ideologies. Being critical of the Stalinist regime, she also makes a lot of commentaries regarding the inferior women’s role in the society and the gender perception.

5)Daniels, Robert V. A Documentary History of Communism. v.1, Hanover: University Press of New England, 1984.

This book presents a collection of nearly 300 key documents that present the evolution of the communist mind in Russia. These 300 primary documents facilitate the historical analysis of the period and help define the time period with important events and publications, which might have influenced Nina’s experiences.

6)Catriona Kelly and David Shepherd. Ed. Constructing Russian culture in the age of Revolution, 1881-1940. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

The book is an account of the literary and cultural forms that have come to be adopted by Revolutionary Russia. It examines the science and objectivity, the national and personal identity and the consumerism and commercial culture in the new Soviet society. This is an important account of events and ideas that have come to dominate the time period in which Nina’s diary was written, and will give us a critical account of the cultural sphere in which she grew up.

7)Buckley, Mary. Women and ideology in the Soviet Union. An Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1989.

The work is a social history of Soviet women workers in the 1930’s. It is believed that 1930’s created wide ranging affirmative action policies. The Bolsheviks abolished the Zhenotdel in 1930 and signaled the repudiation of all feminism. However, women were employed in industry or agriculture in inferior positions. Abortion was banned and the role of the woman was the mainstay of the nuclear family - responsible for career success of the husband and the upbringing of the children. This work directly relates to Nina’s life experience and perceptions as a young girl, it helps us explain her feelings.

8)Trotsky, Leon. Women and the Family. 2d Ed. New York,1973.

Trotsky took social and cultural issues seriously. Here he argues that equality for the sexes in domestic life must exist before there could be equality for political or economic opportunity. His ideas should be compared to the gender role practices in the 1930’s. We can apply his ideas to Nina’s ideas on the female gender.

9)Ilic, Melanie. “Women in the Khrushchev Era: an overview,” Women in the Khrushchev era. Los Angeles, CA: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

The article examines the aspects of Khrushchev’s program reforms, which followed after the death of Stalin (1953). The thaw period gave rise to new gender issues and reforms, which are helpful to see in contrast to the Stalin regime.

10)Komar and Melamid. “We Remember or so it seems,” Monumental Propaganda.

New York, 1994. 

This is an intrinsic reflection on the Soviet childhood and memories of the two authors. The two avant-garde artists give a very interesting account on their visual and perceptual experiences in the Soviet Union. Being surrounded by Monuments that they perceived as Gods, the two authors give us a primary account of the visual orientation of the youth in the early Soviet years. Through their eyes, we can imagine the horizon which Nina saw and the atmosphere that surrounded her everyday.


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