"...thought-provoking...Paperny writes with a boldness and self-assurance that is refreshing and innovative." The Russian Review
"...if one desires to ponder how Stalinism came to dominate the world of the Soviet Union and is willing to permit the author a certain degree of space to construct his poetry, then Paperny is likely to provoke significant questions regarding the nature of cultural change and continuity." American Historical Review
"The book is engaging and perceptive." Choice
"...consistently fascinating...a valuable and evocative work...a must read for scholars of Soviet culture." - Canadian Journal of History, Scott W. Palmer, Western Illinois University
Paperny examines the evolution of architecture in Russia during the Stalinist period. Defining two conflicting trends -- Culture One and Culture Two -- that have alternately prevailed in Russian culture, the author argues that the shift away from the architectural avant-garde of the 1920s was not entirely the result of Stalin's will. Rather, he demonstrates how the aesthetic choices of Stalin and his architects were conditioned by the prevailing cultural mechanisms of the 1930s and 40s. Combining academic precision with engaging narrative, Paperny leads the reader through the remarkable trajectory of architectural and cultural transformation that marked a pivotal moment of Russia's history.