The House of Government

  • From the Publisher
May 16, 2017

The House of Gov­ern­ment is unlike any oth­er book about the Russ­ian Rev­o­lu­tion and the Sovi­et exper­i­ment. 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.

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