"This book’s focus is one year, 1937, and one place, Moscow, but it is no narrow history. The narrative has sweep and depth, encompassing the mundane, the spectacular, and the nightmare dream world of Stalin’s purges; an incomparable book about people during one of the most grandiose and terrifying epochs of the twentieth century."
David Shearer, University of Delaware
"Starting from a birds-eye view of the city from above, a homage to the flight of Bulgakov’s Margarita, Schloegel captures the complex specificity of a time and place of immense significance in Soviet and twentieth-century history. In this multivalent historical moment, interrogations at the Lubyanka coexist with happy summer vacations and the triumphant conquest of the North Pole by Soviet aviators. Schloegel brings into play an ingenious variety of sources, ranging from architectural blueprints and city directories to execution records, not forgetting diaries and literary evocations. This is a masterful, panoramic work by a gifted story-teller who is also a highly innovative, sophisticated and erudite historian."
Sheila Fitzpatrick, University of Chicago
"In brilliant fashion Karl Schlögel presents Moscow as a rotating stage of Soviet desire and Stalinist nightmares. Like no other author before him, he charges his prose and the sequence of scenes with the hallucinatory power of the Communist project. The vertiginous and terrifying effect is his very point and singular achievement."
Jochen Hellbeck, Rutgers University
"Karl Schlogel's Moscow 1937 is a brilliant essay of "Total history" on a crucial episode of Soviet history, on one of the greatest historical catastrophes of the Twentieth Century.This is the first book which goes beyond totalitarianism and revisionism and brings us a totally new interpretation of this tragic event by presenting together opposing experiences and manifestations such as the preparation for universal, free, direct and secret elections and carefully planned, organized mass killings. Or, in other words, Dream and Terror."
Nicolas Werth, Institut d’histoire du temps présent
"This is a montage of a great city in tumult, in equal parts depicting the optimism of progress and the horror of the show trials, all in the shadow of a looming war."
Andrew Cornish, Readings
"While most historians see both terror and civilisation as important to understanding the Soviet experience of the 1930s, they tend to spend their time investigating either one or the other. Schlögel is the first to attempt to knit them together so intricately. Moscow 1937 is an act of remembrance as well as a work of history.”
London Review of Books
"There is no book that so perfectly and completely captures the stark contradictions of Soviet life. Each scene is a marvel, and together they recreate for us a multisided and vanished world."
Wendy Goldman, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA