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 ★★★★☆

January 16, 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...

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...

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...

Carol rated it ★★★★★

November 26, 2017

This might be a cruel thing to say about a 980-page book, but if you want to claim to understand how the Bolshevik ideology penetrated and drove the Soviet Union (and therefore understand the Soviet Union), you need to read this book. It will not be easy. Slezkine tells you exactly what he is goin...

Beata rated it ★★★★★

September 30, 2017

Absolutely stunning piece of non-fiction that is hard to find nowadays. Found it by pure chance and now I believe it to be one of the best books on the revolution. A real jewel! The book is truly terrifying; it describes the lives the revolutionaries, those famous and less known, led well before...

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...

Cheryl rated it ★★★★★

January 16, 2018

This is a fabulous book about the Bolsheviks. The book uses the House of Government, a building built after the Bolshevik’s took over power in Russia to tell the story of the people behind the revolution. This book is an indepth telling of these people through the use of their diaries and letters...

Barry rated it ★★★★★

September 07, 2017

A very interesting book that is a group biography of the top personnel of the Communist in Moscow during the years of NEP and Stalin. The evolution and interrelationships of this group are fascinating. The book not an easy read. 1100 pages, small print, and it must weigh 20 pounds, so you are exe...

John Plowright rated it ★★★★★

August 04, 2017

Some of the most high-profile victims of Stalin’s purges, namely, those who as privileged party members, were accommodated in the House of Government - the huge, forbidding apartment block opened in 1931, on the Moscow River’s embankment - were able, once Khrushchev sanctioned de-Stalinization, t...

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