Children's World: Growing Up in Russia, 1890-1991

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 2007 - History - 714 pages
2 Reviews

How a country views its children reveals a great deal about that country. This landmark history of childhood in twentieth-century Russia presents an enthralling and detailed picture of a society where childhood was celebrated everywhere but children’s real needs were often neglected by the state. Catriona Kelly, one of the foremost cultural historians of modern Russia, explores every aspect of children’s lives, including the stresses and joys of ordinary family life, friendships, sports and games, first love, clothing, and schools. She examines the experiences of children in institutions, orphanages, and Stalin’s camps, as well as the impact on their lives of such historical tragedies as revolution, civil and world war, and political purges.

Based on unprecedented research in archives, hundreds of interviews, and the study of a huge range of newspapers, books, and pamphlets, the book has an immediacy which is startling. Over 100 illustrations sharpen the focus still more. Kelly weaves together information about the relationships between children and adults, prevailing ideas about childhood, and the actual experiences of children to create an unforgettable account of the intimate workings of Russian and Soviet society.

 

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Contents

Free Spirits and Prodigies 18901917
25
Pioneers and PetKeepers 19171935
61
Thank You Dear Comrade Stalin for a Happy Childhood 19351953
93
Let There Always Be Sunshine 19531991
130
The Kindness of Strangers 18901917
157
Orphan Heroes 19171935
193
Children of the State 19351953
221
Freedom and Punishment 19531991
258
Nursery Days
354
In Their Own Time
424
Years of School
495
The End of Childhood?
570
Notes
599
List of Further Reading
694
Index
696
Copyright

Babyhood
287

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About the author (2007)

Catriona Kelly is professor of Russian, University of Oxford, and fellow of New College. She has published extensively on Russian cultural history, including most recently Comrade Pavlik: The Rise and Fall of a Soviet Boy Hero. She lives in Oxford, UK.

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