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The House of Government

A Saga of the Russian Revolution
Lu par : Stefan Rudnicki
Durée : 45 h et 9 min

Prix : 35,87 €

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Description

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 800 of them were evicted from the house and led, one by one, to prison or their deaths.

Drawing on letters, diaries, and interviews, 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.

©2017 Yuri Slezkine (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Edward V. Blanchard
  • 05/11/2017

Inside saga of the leaders of Bolshevism & the USSR

What a generous & magisterial book! Basically the story of a wide group of leaders, intellectuals & senior bureaucrats and their families, most of whom lived at one time or other in the House of Govt. From the pre-revolutionary backgrounds thru the Oct Revolution, building the new Communist state, collectivization, the 5 year plans, the Great Terror & then the Great Patriotic War. This is s deep social, cultural & intellectual history of how a Bolshevik sect became the state religion of a great country, but it reads more like Tolstoy of “War & Peace”! Lots of Russian names & families to keep track of. Long, but fascinating, subtle, generous & sympathetic, but never “rose tinted”. Most highly recommended! Reader was easy to listen to, with the right balance of seriousness (& occasionally, irony).

11 sur 12 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • 23/11/2017

Haunting tour of the temple of the failed deity

Engrossing relatable stories, often in their own words, of the thinkers who envisioned the Soviet state. Story after story illuminate the theories and ideals that led to the tragedy that followed.

8 sur 9 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • brian
  • 07/09/2017

An ultimate history.

Would you listen to The House of Government again? Why?

I would.

What did you like best about this story?

The history it presented, some of which I hadn't heard of.

Which character – as performed by Stefan Rudnicki – was your favorite?

All of them, not bad for a narrator I hadn't heard of before.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The fates of some of Stalin's "enemies" made me cry, Bukharin's especially.

Any additional comments?

/A must-have for fans of Soviet history.

6 sur 7 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • TheWatchmaker
  • 12/12/2017

fantastic portrait of the Soviet revolution

a masterpiece. sweeping and grand in scope. a must read for students of Russian/Soviet history.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Scott Free
  • 05/07/2018

The fallibility of too much close up.

I wanted to like this book and in many ways I did like this book getting to know the story of the government house and the Bolsheviks involved and the tragedy of the Red Terror both right after the Revolution in the 1920s and then later the Stalin Red Terror which karmically bit the Bolsheviks right in the butt. Many of The Executioner's were themselves executed.
Where the author falls down is in his failure to pull back from the close-ups on the individual Bolsheviks in the government house; the book is filled with diary entries letters a lot of that and that's great except that he never shows the larger forces acting on the Soviet Union and other prominent dissidents and Scholars that have laid out much of this story.
This failure to address the other scholarship around the Soviet Union leads to doubt about some of the central Theses of the book that the Bolshevik Revolution was a millenarian movement In some ways it was a millenarian movement but in other ways maybe not and some of these other authors like Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Antony Sutton who wrote The Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution and others too numerous to mention suggest that the Soviet Union was part of a much larger picture and that the Bolsheviks themselves were not in as complete control as one might of thought and it was obvious when Stalin was liquidating the old Bolsheviks that it was a blatant power-play the fact that they all thought it was something else just means that they were extremely deluded.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • T. Anderson
  • 15/09/2017

A people's history of the Soviet Union.

I've been reading historical and biographical books on the Soviet Union since I became aware that there was such a thing as history, more than 45 years ago. Nothing I have ever read comes close to painting the day to day struggle of the Soviet people to not only survive but to avoid being exterminated or sent to dissappear in the Gulag.

Disturbingly, the author points out unmistakable simalarities in Western countries that while not as extreme as in the Soviet world, nevertheless destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of "free" and completely innocent people. A tale that should never cease to be told and most importantly, remembered.

7 sur 10 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • JP
  • 26/10/2017

Interminable

I love learning about/reading about all things Russia, including the period of the early 20th century. I gave this book a good 8 hours to get enjoyable and I just don’t have the patience for the 30+ remaining hours. Incoherent and not enjoyable.

5 sur 9 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Fiona Chalom
  • 29/04/2019

Amazing

The author is encyclopedic in the research, truly amazing. The narrator is wonderful and his voice is mesmerizing. I highly recommend this book, as I would not have read it as it is so long but listening made it compelling and fascinating.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 28/11/2018

Remarkably well researched

The detail of this book evidences the remarkable research carried out by its author.

At times the risk is to be overwhelmed by this detail.

However, this is a story which simultaneously is reaching for Solzhenitsyn like horror while furthering that story by the authors research.

The author adds the angel of religious fervor driving the dogma of Russian Communism, while asking how come Communism in Russia lasted only a lifetime while Christianity in its various derivatives has lasted several millennia.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Marcus Caris
  • 11/11/2018

A Powerful Argument, mired in minutiae

This is a deeply researched book about the moral and artistic underpinnings of the Russian Revolution. There are however so many long examples and so many people mentioned that it is daunting for the reader to keep it all in their head. However the arguments are so compelling that I’d still recommend the book but with the caution that there will be moments that the explanation of the plots of dozens of soviet era novels may be a slog.

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