232 pages | 8 Color Illus.
Small Comrades is a fascinating examination of Soviet conceptions of childhood and the resulting policies directed toward children. Working on the assumption that cultural representations and self-representations are not entirely separable, this book probes how the Soviet regime's representations structured teachers' observations of their pupils and often adults' recollections of their childhood. The book draws on work that has been done on Soviet schooling, and focuses specifically on the development of curricula and institutions, but it also examines the wider context of the relationship between the family and the state, and to the Bolshevik vision of the "children of October"
"Lisa A. Kirschenbaum's Small Comrades offers a bird's eye view of Bolshevik theory and life in the 1920's. While examining early childhood education in the new Soviet society, it also reflects on Bolshevik social practices after the revolution, charts the decline of utopian schemes for liberating women and children, and describes the triumph of work during the first Five-Year Plan. … This in-depth review of early childhood education will interest students in Soviet history and women's studies courses, as well as those studying pedagogical theory in schools of education." -- Slavic Review