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The House of Government : A Saga of the Russian Revolution - Yuri Slezkine

The House of Government

A Saga of the Russian Revolution

Hardcover Published: 28th July 2017
ISBN: 9780691176949
Number Of Pages: 1128

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On the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, the epic story of an enormous apartment building where Communist true believers lived before their destruction

The House of Government is unlike any other book about the Russian Revolution and the Soviet experiment. Written in the tradition of Tolstoy's War and Peace, Grossman’s Life and Fate, and Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago, Yuri Slezkine’s gripping narrative tells the true story of the residents of an enormous Moscow apartment building where top Communist officials and their families lived before they were destroyed in Stalin’s purges. A vivid account of the personal and public lives of Bolshevik true believers, the book begins with their conversion to Communism and ends with their children’s loss of faith and the fall of the Soviet Union.

Completed in 1931, the House of Government, later known as the House on the Embankment, was located across the Moscow River from the Kremlin. The largest residential building in Europe, it combined 505 furnished apartments with public spaces that included everything from a movie theater and a library to a tennis court and a shooting range. Slezkine tells the chilling story of how the building’s residents lived in their apartments and ruled the Soviet state until some eight hundred of them were evicted from the House and led, one by one, to prison or their deaths.

Drawing on letters, diaries, and interviews, and featuring hundreds of rare photographs, The House of Government weaves together biography, literary criticism, architectural history, and fascinating new theories of revolutions, millennial prophecies, and reigns of terror. The result is an unforgettable human saga of a building that, like the Soviet Union itself, became a haunted house, forever disturbed by the ghosts of the disappeared.

About the Author

Yuri Slezkine is the Jane K. Sather Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley. His books include The Jewish Century (Princeton), which won the National Jewish Book Award.

Industry Reviews

"Mammoth and profusely researched... A work begging to be debated; Slezkine aggregates mountains of detail for an enthralling account of the rise and fall of the revolutionary generation."--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xvii

1 En Route

I Anticipation 3

1 The Swamp 5

2 The Preachers 23

3 The Faith 73

II Fulfillment 119

4 The Real Day 121

5 The Last Battle 158

6 The New City 180

7 The Great Disappointment 220

8 The Party Line 272

2 At Home

III The Second Coming 315

9 The Eternal House 317

10 The New Tenants 377

11 The Economic Foundations 408

12 The Virgin Lands 421

13 The Ideological Substance 454

IV The Reign of the Saints 479

14 The New Life 481

15 The Days Off 508

16 The Houses of Rest 535

17 The Next of Kin 552

18 The Center of the World 582

19 The Pettiness of Existence 610

20 The Thought of Death 623

21 The Happy Childhood 645

22 The New Men 665

3 On Trial

V The Last Judgment 697

23 The Telephone Call 699

24 The Admission of Guilt 715

25 The Valley of the Dead 753

26 The Knock on the Door 773

27 The Good People 813

28 The Supreme Penalty 840

VI The Afterlife 871

29 The End of Childhood 873

30 The Persistence of Happiness 887

31 The Coming of War 912

32 The Return 924

33 The End 946

Epilogue: The House on the Embankment 961

Appendix: Partial List of Leaseholders 983

Notes 995

Index 1083

ISBN: 9780691176949
ISBN-10: 0691176949
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 1128
Published: 28th July 2017
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.77 x 15.88  x 5.08
Weight (kg): 1.52
Edition Number: 1

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