Review by Choice Review
Engel's new book brings together a decade's research on the experiences of Russian peasant women as their society belatedly underwent large-scale industrialization. Despite the profound shift in subject matter, this book resembles her earlier Mothers and Daughters (CH, Sep'83) in some important ways. It is not an analytic monograph, but a series of essays dealing with women in different localities and in different work situations (peasant women whose husbands migrated; women in rural factories; women in the capitals; prostitutes). Although Engel has attempted to use quantitative material where it is available, both the scattershot nature of Russian sources and, no doubt, her own predilections, have led her to concentrate on the individual and the anecdotal. She has used court records of divorce proceedings to especially good effect, and through them readers hear the voices of villagers, husbands, and women as they argue over women's duties and expectations in a changing world. With its readable prose and its emphasis on the life experiences of individual, poor women, this book makes an excellent introduction to its subject. All levels. J. Zimmerman; University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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