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By N K Krupskaya, translation by Dr Mick Costello (Manifesto Press, London: 2017)
This is the first publication in English of a pamphlet originally written in 1899 (published 1902), then suppressed following the 1905 Russian Revolution, before being republished in 1925. This is N K Krupskaya's first pamphlet and the first work written by a Marxist on the situation of women in Russia.
Often undervalued in scholarship and treated as merely ‘Lenin’s wife’, Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya was a Russian revolutionary and activist in her own right. She was active during the earliest days of the Russian Revolution, where she worked on the policies of education and enlightenment, and later chaired the education committee and served as Deputy Minister of Education in the USSR until her death in 1939. She also sat on the editorial board of Rabotnitsa (The Woman Worker) and helped found the Communist Youth movements Komsomol and the Pioneers. This pamphlet, The Woman Worker, was written under the pseudonym ‘Sablina’ whilst Krupskaya was exiled Siberia in 1899. It was banned following the suppression of the 1905 revolution, but republished after the October Revolution (1917). It is notable as the earliest example of an in-depth analysis of the role of women in Tsarist Russia. It calls for women to organise alongside male workers: ‘The woman worker is a member of the working class and all her interests are closely tied to the interests of that class’. Krupskaya also outlines the powerlessness of the peasant woman in family life, their diminished status and the fact that they were treated as property. This is the first time that the work as a whole has been published in English, and was part of a wider celebration of the centenary of the October Revolution.