American Girls in Red Russia
Chasing the American Dream
University of Chicago Press 2017
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Russian and Eurasian StudiesNew Books Network August 13, 2017 Amanda Jeanne Swain
In American Girls in Red Russia: Chasing the American Dream (University of Chicago Press, 2017), Julia Mickenberg tells the story of women both famous and unknown, committed radicals and adventure seekers who went to the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s. She explores their motivations and experiences, as well as their disappointments and disillusionment, to rehabilitate not USSR itself but the real depth of interest, hope and fascination that the Soviet Union represented to many people. In doing so, she demonstrates the ways in which Russian radicalism intertwined with American feminism in the early twentieth century. She also explores questions of loyalty to ones beliefs, country and family through the lives of women such as activist Anna Louise Strong, journalist Millie Bennett, dancer Pauline Koner and Ruth Epperson Kennell, who worked in a Siberian industrial colony.
Julia Mickenberg is Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.