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The Keys to Happiness. Sex and the Search for Modernity in Fin-de-Siecle Russia.

Engelstein, Laura.

17 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0801426642 / ISBN 13: 9780801426643
Published by Cornell University Press. Ithaca., 1992
From The Good Times Bookshop (Port Jefferson, NY, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Presentation Copy from the author (signed "For Lawrence, Affectionately, Laura") on front free endpaper. Tan/gray cloth Hard Cover. 8vo. 461 pages including Primary Sources and Index. Illustrated in b/w. Some pages have ink notations, not affecting text. A Very Good, clean, tight copy in a Very Good Dust Jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 8025d

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Keys to Happiness. Sex and the Search ...

Publisher: Cornell University Press. Ithaca.

Publication Date: 1992

Binding: Hardcover

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

About this title


The word sex in the subtitle encompasses both sexuality and gender; it does not encompass how historical subjects lived their intimate lives, but refers rather to the articulated ideas of the shapers of power. The author follows her themes from the pre-1905 period in Russia to the Revolution itself and its aftermath, casting new light on Russian social and cultural history and showing how the study of attitudes toward sex and gender can inform understanding of the political issues in any society. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

From Library Journal:

Drawing on printed sources, principally legal and medical records and avant-garde and boulevard literature, Engelstein (history, Princeton Univ.) discusses attitudes toward sexuality and gender in prerevolutionary Russia. Topics covered include the regulation of family life, sexual deviance and crime, female crime, prevention of syphilis, juvenile sex, abortion, and the literature of free love. There is a chapter on Vasilii Rozanov, a social reactionary who combined virulent anti-Semitism with outspoken support of sexual freedom. A discussion of the wildly popular novel, The Keys to Happiness (1910-13), traces the career of a fictional "new woman," a Russian Isadora Duncan who moves from sexual liberation to self-inflicted death in the space of seven years. Engelstein depicts a Russia painfully groping its way toward modernity, with a watershed in attitudes occurring following the revolution of 1905. A thorough, if somewhat pedestrian, study.
- David Keymer, California State Univ., Stanislaus
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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