Beautiful Nihilists, Pretty Anarchists, Red Virgins and Others

Makarov_Mar'ja_Sof'ja_PerovskajaWelcome to The Beautiful Nihilist: Representations of Revolutionary Women. The goal here is to gather material from the popular press depicting radical and particularly militant women, in all its sensationalist and often exploitative glory. The articles and tales collected here document a familiar fascination with a political variety of femme fatale, often with a great deal of emphasis on the sexual desirability and social status of the women portrayed in presumably “unwomanly” acts of violence. At the same time, however, the tabloid presentation often allows important bits of history and biography to show through. Indeed, in many cases, this spectacular journalism is all that we have to document the lives of women who were on the front lines of the most militant sorts of struggles.

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