March 01, 1996

The Glue of Russian Society

What breadth, what beauty and power of human nature
and development there must be in a woman to get over
all the palisades, all the fences, within which she is held captive!

— Alexander Herzen
Russian journalist and political philosopher, 1812-1870

Anyone who dare contest that women hold together the fabric of Russian society has not spent much time in that country. Certainly, one could argue, every society hinges on women — they bear and nurture the children, sustain the home, they educate and nurse the men (Indeed, a prominent zoologist recently offered the startling theory, in The Economist, that our societies are seeming to need men less and less.).

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