*The Soviet Century* – Marginal REVOLUTION


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The writer is Karl Schlögel, and the subtitle is Archaeology of a Misplaced World.  Who else might have a complete chapter on Soviet-era doorknobs?  It is a fascinating e-book concerning the materials unfastened ends, the pamphlets, the garments, the non-existent telephone books, the store indicators, the chest medals, and the bric-a-brac — amongst many different objects — of the Soviet Union.  Excerpt:

…the centre of this metropolis consisted of the most important steelworks on the earth, the Magnitogorsk Iron and Metal Plant.

Who would be capable of describe the sight of it?  There isn’t any vantage level and no digicam lens that might embody the panorama that we all know in any other case solely from the sight of the forces of nature at work…

The conglomerate has an space of round twenty by ten kilometres.  The Magnitogorsk mix is roughly the scale of a area from Manchester to Sheffield, compressed right into a single  level, a Pittsburgh past the Urals.  As Stephen Kotkin noticed on the finish of the Nineteen Eighties, the Magnitogorsk engineering advanced was excess of only a ‘metal manufacturing facility’.  It consisted of dozens of vegetation, ten mighty blast furnaces, thirty-four open fireplace furnaces, rolling mills and ending mills that produced extra metal yearly than Canada or Czechoslovakia and virtually as a lot as the entire of Nice Britain.

Over 800 pp. of textual content, that is for my part one of many higher books for understanding the Soviet Union.


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