A.K. 47 - Autobiography of a Sexually Emancipated Communist Woman VII

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Manage episode 244195676 series 2492018
By Kristen R. Ghodsee. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In this seventh episode of Season Two, Kristen Ghodsee reads the final section of Alexandra Kollontai's 1926 memoir: The Autobiography of a Sexually Emancipated Communist Woman. In this portion of the memoir, Kollontai speaks about her work during and after the Civil War and the beginning of her diplomatic career in Norway. Once again, her ideas on love and sexuality fall afoul of her party comrades and she struggles against the conservatism of Russian society.
This memoir was written as Kollontai began her diplomatic career when she was 54-years-old and a veteran of the revolution. Lenin was already dead, Stalin was seizing power, and Kollontai was reflecting on the achievements of her life thus far. The initial publication of the memoir was heavily censored, particularly the passages where Kollontai speaks about her love life and her history of failed relationships with men. At the time, Kollontai was only the third woman to serve as ambassadress in the history of diplomatic service, but she was the first to do so as a divorcée who was widely known to have had multiple partners over the course of her life. The version read for this podcast includes the censored passages, and Ghodsee reflects on the historical context within which the memoir was written.


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