Gender and Survival in Soviet Russia: A Life in the Shadow of Stalin’s Terror

This first-hand witness account – originally written by Ludmila Miklashevskaya in 1976 and here translated into English by historian Elaine MacKinnon for the first time – tells the important story of one woman’s persecution under Stalin. From Miklashevskaya’s middle-class Jewish childhood in Odessa, to her life in exile as the wife of ‘an enemy of the people’ and false imprisonment in a labour camp for the attempted murder of NKVD leader Nikolai Yezhov, to her later attempts at rehabilitation, her memoir is a fascinating tapestry of Soviet artistic, intellectual, and political life set against the tumultuous backdrop of revolutions, wars, and repressive regimes.

Accompanied by a translator’s introduction and detailed historical explanatory notes, Gender and Survival in Soviet Russia sheds new light on the relationship between power, gender, and society in 20th-century Russia. This book is thus a vital primary resource for scholars of modern Russian history and gender studies, offering a compelling and personal route into understanding how the machinations of Soviet Russia destroyed everyday life, tearing families apart and leaving scars that never healed.