The Soviet Century: Archaeology of a Lost World


Product Details

$39.95  $37.15
Princeton University Press
Publish Date
6.2 X 9.4 X 2.8 inches | 3.7 pounds

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About the Author

Karl Schlögel is professor emeritus of Eastern European history at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder and a noted journalist. His books include Moscow 1937, The Scent of Empires: Chanel No. 5 and Red Moscow, and Ukraine: A Nation on the Borderland.


"[A] magnum opus. . . . This invaluable study casts a lost world in a new light."-- "Publishers Weekly (Starred review)"
"An impressively evocative look at material life in the USSR, from gulags and the planned economy to Red Moscow perfume and the Soviet toilet -- a "lost civilisation" of utopian fantasy and unbridled terror."-- "Financial Times"
"Who else could have a whole chapter on Soviet-era doorknobs? This is a fascinating book about the material loose ends, the pamphlets, the clothes, the non-existent phone books, the shop signs, the chest medals, and the bric-a-brac -- among many other items -- of the Soviet Union. . . . This is in my view one of the better books for understanding the Soviet Union."---Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution
"Formidable. . . . The emergence of this book in our intellectual landscape is timely, as we seek to better understand Russia in an era when systematic political, economic, social, and even cultural approaches have failed to explain or predict the current resurrection of the 'Soviet Leviathan.' Indeed, perhaps 'the devil is hidden in the details, ' and by diving yet again into these minute but culturally rich details of Soviet banal routine, spiritual life, and rituals, we can make a step forward in our comprehension of why the dark side of 'Soviet civilization' keeps reemerging again and again."---Oksana Ermolaeva, EuropeNow (Editor's pick)
"Who knew that, apart from his experiments with dogs, Ivan Pavlov wrote a preface concerning nutrition for a bestselling Soviet cookbook? That's one of just many oddments Schlögel assembles in this utterly absorbing tour through the material goods that defined the Soviet era, from pulpy wrapping paper to the medals veterans wore, from canned goods to perfume and tchotchkes and everything in between. . . . A superb blend of social history and material culture, essential for students of 20th-century geopolitics."-- "Kirkus Reviews (Starred review)"
"A pinnacle in Soviet studies. . . . A splendid book."-- "Library Journal (Starred review)"
"Fascinating. . . . The scholarship of the work is evident throughout, but 'The Soviet Century' is both more powerful and more subtle than a typical work of scholarship. At its heart, it's a gigantic, heartfelt elegy, one of the most stunning tributes ever paid to the Soviet Union."---Steve Donoghue, Big Canoe News
"The Soviet Century . . . presents history in a novel way, showcasing customs and traditions, values and artefacts, that offer many poignant insights and helps readers understand the Russian psyche today. . . . It's a fascinating, multi-faceted read that both takes historical stock and zooms in on miniature details."---Jana Bakunina, Financial Times
"Extremely timely and utterly indispensable."---Vitali Vitaliev, Engineering and Technology