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

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Read The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution Online Free - 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 550 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.

Title : The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0691176949
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 1096 pages


BlackOxford rated it ★★★★☆

February 07, 2018

The Omphalos on the Moscva Like Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Jerusalem, The House of Government uses a limited geography as a focus to narrate an almost unlimited cultural history. This is the history of what can be called eschatological faith, the belief that the race of Homo Sapiens is destined tow...

Matt rated it ★★☆☆☆

March 01, 2018

It is truly a rare time when I will admit defeat and label a book as DNF (did not finish). However, after completing 22% of this piece, I have decided that I cannot continue, lacking the ability to affix sufficient attention to the narration or glean much of the author’s message. Some of this sur...

Hugh rated it ★★★★★

February 16, 2018

"This is a work of history. Any resemblance to fictional characters, dead or alive, is entirely coincidental" This is a monumental, long and detailed book that is both a history of the Russian revolution, a personal reflection on the literature it produced and a collection of family stories centr...

Hadrian rated it ★★★★☆

October 08, 2017

This titanic volume contains the topics and organization of several books. One is a social history of the residents of a single apartment building - the House of Government, on Balchug Island in the Moskva River. This building was one of the prides of the early Soviet Union, replete with all of t...

Roman Clodia rated it ★★★☆☆

February 14, 2018

So how to rate this? As a piece of archival and documentary research, this is monumental and undoubtedly worthy of 5-stars. But it’s less convincing to me as an academic thesis which seeks to offer millennial religious cults as an analytical model to make sense of the Russian Revolution – 3-stars....

Lori rated it ★★★★★

July 17, 2017

Absolutely stunning. I thought this book was about an apartment building constructed for high Soviet officials (The House of Government), the people who lived there, and their fates during the purges of the 1930's and 40's. But it is so much more than that. This book is not for the faint hearted,...

Biblio rated it ★★★★★

September 04, 2017

Originally, I sampled this one from Netgalley, then gave in and pre-ordered it. The beautiful book now rests on my Russian Lit bookshelf. I still haven't officially reviewed it simply because it's a tome that deserves a slow reading. The beginning pages were simply exquisite, the details are profo...

Caroline rated it ★★★★★

January 29, 2018

A massively researched exploration of the Russian revolution from pre-1917 through Stalins’s terror, searching for the source of the true believer commitment of the early Bolshevists and the reasons it didn’t survive their generation. Slezkine doesn’t believe you’ll be convinced by one example, s...

Marks54 rated it ★★★★★

September 16, 2017

This is a great book that will I am sure come to be seen as a classic. Words like "epic" are thrown around too easily sometimes but are appropriate here. We are rapidly approaching the 100 year anniversary of the October Revolution and this is a fine book to read about it. Yuri Slezkine has writt...

Murtaza rated it ★★★★☆

February 21, 2018

When the Bolsheviks took power in Russia in 1917 they believe that the arrival of Communism - envisioned as a Utopian society on earth - was a rapture that they would experience within their own lifetimes. Having apparently discovered the Laws of History and successfully marginalized the competin...

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