Moscow, 1937: it is a decisive year, not just for the Soviet capital. It marks the zenith of Stalin's dictatorial regime, as a society disintegrates in a storm of violence. Schlögel visits the sites of show trials and executions, reconstructing how the terror of the state-of-emergency regime escalated into the Great Terror, claiming the lives of 1.5 million within a year. But the death toll does not tell the whole story. In the shadow of the terror it was creating, the regime intended to build a new society. Extreme acts of violence juxtaposed with optimistic euphoria, mass murder alongside Hollywood-style Soviet cinema, megalomaniac building projects with the Gulag just beyond the city gates, aviation mythology and mass denunciations – these are the dramatic contradictions that characterised Moscow in 1937. With the aid of countless documents, including newspaper reports, city maps, memoirs and court records, Schlögel's magnum opus describes a period in time when terror and dreams converged, the boundaries becoming ever more blurred. Schlögel tells the story of a lethal synthesis, where there was no safety for anyone: no one could be sure they would not be swallowed up in the maelstrom of violence – not even those who were nominally in charge and wielding power.
Terror and Dream
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