The disintegration of the Soviet Union has left deep scars in the landscape of Moscow, so that Karl Schlögel's highly acclaimed portrait of this Russian metropolis, published in 1984, now reminds us of a lost city. This revised edition brings the dynamic changes of the last two decades to life.
Many years before the fall of the Iron Curtain, Karl Schlögel explored Moscow extensively on foot. Off the beaten tourist tracks, he came to understand the unique characters of the different neighbourhoods and how to read the facades of the houses. He delved into the underground network, discovered long-forgotten monasteries, and stumbled across bizarre monuments representing the Stalin cult. In 1984, he first showcased a Moscow hitherto unknown in the West: a stone jungle that displayed the distinct eras in layers for our scrutiny, from the boom of 1900 all the way to the architecture of the communist rulers. Twenty years after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the city has changed completely once again. The silhouette is now defined by investor architecture. Some of the districts which Schlögel discovered on foot 23 years ago no longer exist. The revised edition of his comprehensive portrait of the city evokes this forgotten Moscow. A new essay is included, which describes the radical changes that occurred over the last 20 years, transforming not only the Moscow cityscape, but the whole soul and atmosphere of the Russian metropolis.