“[A] solid piece of research. Recommended. . . .” — V. D. Barooshian , Choice
“Borenstein’s book is a worthy successor to the classics of the genre . . . . A brief review cannot do justice to the variety of Borenstein’s text, with its wealth of commentary on every aspect of the question, each subtopic marked off by a subtitle. The notes are extensive, almost constituting an essay on the relevant literature. . . . [T]his book is indispensable for specialists who study the literature and culture of the early Soviet period. it covers familiar ground but casts a new light on the period, bringing important features into relief that may have been slighted or unnoticed in earlier studies.” — Patricia Carden , Slavic Review
“Eliot Borenstein’s extremely thoughtful and thought-provoking study . . . does an excellent job of excavating the rhetoric of masculinity from a number of well-known works of Russian fiction from the 1920s . . . . Borenstein’s illuminating study . . . is truly a pleasure to read; it is intelligently conceptualized, smoothly written, and convincingly argued. And, most importantly, it is solidly grounded in the social and cultural discourse of that tumultuous, experimental period in Soviet history. Handsomely adorned with a cover design that alters Vera Mukhina’s famous statue in a revealing way (the collective-farm woman is eliminated, while the male industrial worker is quadrupled), Men without Women is destined to become . . . a seminal work for scholars interested in issues of gender, ideology, literature, and culture in early Soviet Russia.” — Ronald D. LeBlanc , The Russian Review
"Borenstein’s knowledge of Soviet literature allows the reader to enjoy his thoroughly insightful analysis of communist imagery in the early Soviet prose. . . . [V]ivid. . . ."
— Andrei Sinelnikov , Men and Masculinities
"This creative new monograph is an insightful contribution to the emerging literature on masculinity and male social roles in Russia. . . . The rich incisiveness of Borenstein’s text is merely outlined here. . . . [I]t is a tribute to Borenstein’s creative accomplishment that anyone interested in gender roles in the Soviet state will find much to consider here."
— Laura L. Phillips , Canadian Slavonic Papers
"This study of gender in early Soviet literature should enjoy a lively reception. From the title alone, anyone familiar with the field will appreciate the topic’s importance. . . ."
— Rolf Hellebust , Slavic and East European Journal
“Teeming with insights, tightly argued, and written with stylish verve, Men without Women is a splendid study of three key figures in the context of early Soviet prose: Platonov, Babel, and Olesha. By taking gender into meaningful account Borenstein deftly constructs a nuanced and original perspective, nicely grounded in the era’s history and ideology, from which to read Russian fiction and society of the 1920s. In addition to being a ‘must’ for Slavists, this seductive volume abounds in pleasures of the text.” — Helena Goscilo, University of Pittsburgh
“Well versed in theory and thoroughly knowledgeable about Russian political and cultural life, Borenstein provides an excellent contribution to the burgeoning field of gender studies in Russian and Soviet literatures.” — Adele Barker, University of Arizona