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Università di Bologna  
Wednesday April 17, 2024
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This area collects information about a wide range of books, monographies and edited volumes concerning the countries and themes relevant to PECOB

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European Regional Master's Degree in Democracy and Human Rights in South East Europe
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The Defiant Life of Vera Figner

Surviving the Russian Revolution

edited by: Lynne Ann Hartnett
published by: Indiana University Press
pp: 352
ISBN: 9780253012845
price: Hardback / £23.99

Book's frontpage

This engaging biography tells the dramatic story of a Russian noblewoman turned revolutionary terrorist. Born in 1852 in the last years of serfdom, Vera Figner came of age as Imperial Russian society was being rocked by the massive upheaval that culminated in the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. At first a champion of populist causes and women's higher education, Figner later became a leader of the terrorist party the People's Will and was an accomplice in the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881. Drawing on extensive archival research and careful reading of Figner's copious memoirs, Lynne Ann Hartnett reveals how Figner survived the Bolshevik revolution and Stalin's Great Purges and died a lionized revolutionary legend as the Nazis bore down on Moscow in 1942.


Table of contents

1. In the Twilight of a Fading Age
2. Age of Consciousness
3. Pioneers Diverted
4. Town and Country
5. The Tsar’s Death Sentence
6. Revolutionary Iconography
7. Transformation
8. Life and Death
9. Resurrection in Exile
10. An Old Revolutionary in a New Revolution
11. Revolutionary Survivor


"Hartnett clearly depicts her subject’s gradual transformation from a severe ideologue into a revered martyr whose 'suffering became enshrined,' and the book revivifies a legendary socialist whose violent extremism evolved into humanitarianism on behalf of political prisoners and exiles sentenced to hard labor." —Publishers Weekly

"Hartnett made this hard-headed woman come to life, following her through the populist underground, into prison, and then out into the revolutionary era." —Barbara Evans Clements, author of A History of Women in Russia: From Earliest Times to the Present


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