The House of Government : A Saga of the Russian Revolution
by Yuri Slezkine
Editor: Princeton University Press
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On the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, the epic story of a huge building where the Communists, the true believers who lived before their destruction of The House of Government is, unlike any other book on the Russian Revolution and the Soviet experience, the epic story of a building where the Communists, the true believers who lived before their destruction of The House of Government is, unlike any other book on the Russian Revolution and the Soviet experience.Written in the tradition of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Grossman, Life and Destiny, and Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, Yuri Slezkine’s gripping account tells the true story of the residents of a huge apartment in Moscow building where senior Communist officials and their families lived before they were destroyed during the purges of Stalin.A living account of the private and public life of the Bolsheviks of true believers, the book begins with their conversion to Communism and ends with their children, the loss of faith and the fall of the Soviet Union.Completed in 1931, the Government House, later known as the House on the Quay, was located opposite the Moscow River from the Kremlin.The largest residential building in Europe, it has combined 505 furnished apartments with all-inclusive public spaces from a cinema and library, a tennis court and a photo shoot beach.Slezkine tells the frightening story of how the residents of the building lived in their apartments and ruled the Soviet state, up to eight hundred of them were expelled from the House and led, one by one, to prison or death.Drawing on letters, diaries, and interviews, and featuring hundreds of rare photographs, The Government House weaves biography, literary criticism, history of architecture, and fascinating new theories of revolutions, millennium prophecies, and the reign of terror.The result is an unforgettable experience of the saga man of a building that, like the Soviet Union itself, has become a haunted house, always disturbed by the ghosts of the disappeared.
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