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Inessa Armand
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  • Page extent: 320 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.47 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521894210 | ISBN-10: 0521894212)

  • Also available in Hardback
  • Published July 2002

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$36.99 (C)

Inessa Armand was born of French-English parents in Paris in 1874, raised in the family of a wealthy Moscovite manufacturer, and buried at the age of 46 next to the walls of the Kremlin. In this biography, Professor R. C. Ellwood explores her relatively short life as a Tolstoyan, a lady philanthropist interested in rehabilitating prostitutes, an underground propagandist arrested five times by the tsarist police, an important Bolshevik organizer in Western Europe before the revolution, and a leading Soviet feminist from 1917 to 1920. Armand's unique life is made even more interesting by her close friendship with Lenin and this study examines their stormy relations, casting doubt on the conventional wisdom of an extended love affair.


List of illustrations; Preface; Introduction; 1. In the nest of gentlefolk; 2. From feminism to Marxism; 3. Underground propagandist; 4. Years of wandering; 5. Building a 'party of new type'; 6. In defence of women workers; 7. Lenin's 'girl friday'; 8. The end of an affair?; 9. On the eve of revolution; 10. Return to Moscow; 11. French fiasco; 12. Soviet feminism; 13. Death in the Caucasus; Bibliography; Index.


Elwood's scholarship is...scrupulous...he makes important dicoveries through close comparison of variant editions of texts." Journal of Modern History

"...Armand's story--now retold in Inessa Armand: Revolutionary and Feminist, by R.C. Elwood, a professor of history at Carleton University in Canada--is an interesting one, not only as an account of her own life and her connection with Lenin, but also because of the light it throws on prerevolutionary Russian society and on the origins of Communism....We must be grateful to Mr. Elwood for his fastidious scholarship, for the ease with which he moves amid the complex politics of the Russian revolutionary movement and for his most readable book." Adam B. Ulam, The New York Times

"...this biography performs an important service in making visible the career of a woman whose life symbolized the interweaving of the personal and political. Such a biography could not be more timely today, when in Russia revolutionary ideals have been consigned to the ashheap of history, but the kind of social conditions usually associated with Tsarist times have reappeared....For those seeking a new path beyond the capitalist cynicism of the present and the revolutionary hypocrisy of the past, Elwood's biography of Inessa Armand helps light the way." Rochelle Ruthchild, The Women's Review of Books

"Elwood's carefully researched and detailed political history, written from the viewpoint of female Bolsheviks who worked among women, is a valuable addition to both women's and Soviet studies." Beatrice Farnsworth, American Historical Review

"This is a book for specialists but it was the specialists, after all, who for many years were only interested in female bolsheviks if they had had sexual adventures or had rendered loyal service to men. Elwood moves beyond this trivializing approach and by doing so paints a truer picture of the revolutionaries." Slavic Review

"...Elwood has done a splendid job bringing Inessa Armand back to history. As in his earlier work, Elwood demonstrates his skills as a master researcher and source detective....this well-crafted, interesting, and respectful book will serve as the standard biography of Armand for some time to come." Lynne Viola, The Historian

"This meticulous, thoughtful biography draws on police reports, memoirs and Armand's and Lenin's published letters, as well as a wide range of secondary literature to retrieve Armand from Lenin's shadow and to fill in the details of her life." The Russian Review

"Professor R.C. Elwood of Carleton Uniersity has written a magnum opus, the story of Armand's life and work....The book will be of great interest to students of Russian history and women's history." T. Yedlin, Canadian Slavonic Papers

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