1961 Irkutsk kindegarten

Ordinary Life in the USSR Book Trailer Video

Announcing the new Estuary Press photo book, Ordinary Life in the USSR, Women and Children in the Soviet Union, 1961 with a Book trailer video.

Book Trailer Video Previews Our Story

Book trailer video image of Alice Richards and a group of nurses.
1961, Moscow. Alice Richards, center, seated among maternity nurses.

Ordinary Life in the USSR 1961 tells the story of Harvey and Alice Richards amazing trip to the Soviet Union in the summer of 1961. Their goal was to document the social safety network that existed in the Soviet Union for women and children in a socialist society.

Alice Richards’ script tells the story of our journey as she narrated the films “A Visit to the Soviet Union, Part 1: Women of Russia” and “A Visit to the Soviet Union, Part 2: Far from Moscow”. Her script is presented in the book as the text of the book along with Harvey Richards’ photography of the USSR during the Cold War. I added subheadings and captions (in italics) to the photos as needed.

The book title and book trailer video title come from the preview video for the films “A Visit to the Soviet Union” entitled Ordinary Life in the USSR which I put up on my YouTube channel in 2011. That short video has received over 700,000 views, with the whole channel view count now over 1.1 million from 120 countries. The surprising interest generated by the Soviet Union videos has prompted the publication of the book in order to provide the public with an in depth look at what a socialist society provided for the welfare of women and children. It is a legacy deserving attention from the world now still struggling to find justice and equality for women and protection for children.

Soviet Women: Liberated or Oppressed?

Ordinary Life in the USSR concludes with Alice Richards’ essay “Soviet Women: Liberated or Oppressed?” written in 1978 providing insights into the controversies surrounding the status of women and children in the modern world and documentation about the subject.

Ordinary Life in the USSR, 1961: Volume One in the Critical Focus Series

Ordinary Life in the USSR is volume one in the Critical Focus Series forthcoming from Estuary Press. The Series arises out of the 1986 publication of Critical Focus: The Black and White Photographs of Harvey Wilson Richards. At that time, I had just received the boxes of photos and films that my father had accumulated over decades of photographic and film work dating from the 1950’s to 1978. The images included in the pre-computer age 1986 edition of Critical Focus came from prints that he had developed in his darkroom to use supporting the struggles he filmed. Now, these analog images are part of the larger digital collection of thousands of images and twenty two films available on the Harvey Richards Media Archive web site.

The Critical Focus Series’ purpose is to bring the larger digital collection in the Archive to the public. The Series will feature five main subjects: Peace, Civil RightsCalifornia Farm WorkersEnvironment, and the Soviet Union. Each volume will be available in paperback and eBook formats. The eBook format volumes include links to wider sources of information on each subject now available digitally.

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