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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Angelica Balbanoff

b. 1878, Chernihiv, Ukraine; d. 1965, Rome

Angelica Balabanoff was a Russian socialist and writer. Around 1900, she settled in Rome, where she began organizing immigrant laborers in the textile industry, became a leader of the Italian Socialist Party, and later the Italian Socialist Democrats, and served on the executive committee of the Union of Women Socialists. She joined the Russian Bolshevik Party in 1917 and was secretary of the Comintern in 1919–20, working with Lenin, Trotsky, and Emma Goldman, among others. In 1922, however, she broke with the Bolsheviks and left Russia, returning to Italy. Balabanoff composed poems in English, French, Spanish, Italian, and Russian, edited the Paris journal Avanti! (1928), and wrote the books La mia vita di rivoluzionaria (My Life as a Rebel, 1938) and Lenin visto da vicino (Lenin Seen from Up Close, 1959).