CEERES of Voices presents: Yuri Slezkine on The House of Government

Friday, December 15, 2017

CEERES of Voices presents Yuri Slezkine on The House of Government. He will be joined in conversation by Eleonor Gilburd.

Presented in partnership with CEERES, the Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies at the University of Chicago.

 

Friday, December 15, 2017 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm

At the Seminary Co-op.

 

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested, but not required)

 

About the book: 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 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.

 

"This panoramic history plotted as an epic family tragedy describes the lives of Bolshevik revolutionaries who were swallowed up by the cause they believed in. The story is as intricate as any Russian novel, and the chapters on the Stalinist Terror are the most vivid."--New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

 

"A Soviet War and Peace."--Sheila Fitzpatrick, London Review of Books

 

About the author: Yuri Slezkine is the Jane K. Sather Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley. His books include The Jewish Century (Princeton), which won the National Jewish Book Award.

 

About the interlocutor: Eleonor Gilburd is an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Chicago.

 

Event Location:

The Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637