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Reviews

"Harris is the first historian to explore fully the role of Khrushchev era mass housing as a catalytic component of what party ideologues and Soviet citizens called the ‘communist way of life.'... A pathbreaking study of the ways Soviet citizens claimed positions of agency in late-socialist society, Communism on Tomorrow Street meticulously assembles responses collected from visitor books at exhibitions, public meetings, and housing department petitions to create a fine-grained account of what was know as the 'the housing question,' and how it was politicized—often in ways that differed sharply from the methods and message preferred by Khrushchev's regime."

"Harris does many things superbly in Communism on Tomorrow Street. His chief aim is to write a social history of Khrushchev's mass housing campaign. He argues that movement to single-family apartments was the way most Soviet citizens experienced the thaw after Stalin. Harris thus challenges long-held assumptions about the centrality of the intelligentsia and high culture in the thaw. Moreover, he shows that the mass-housing campaign had many of the trappings of earlier, Stalinist campaigns, except in one crucial regard: it was non-violent. The result is a major contribution—written in elegant, accessible prose—to the emerging historiography of the post-Stalin period."

"Harris provides fascinating new information about how state and society tried to build the daily lives of citizens in the post-war period."

"This book is meticulously researched... Harris effectively presents the increasingly demanding attitudes of citizens towards authorities as well as the forms of social control generated by the new housing policy."

"Communism on Tomorrow Street is based on a considerable body of sources, and its empirical depth is itself an impressive scholarly achievement... Aside from breadth and depth, the book offers new analytical insights... Harris' book therefore succeeds in adding new material, novel perspectives and distinctive interpretations to the study of the housing programme."

"Relying on a wealth of previously untapped archival evidence, Steven Harris has written an important social history of this reform, which was crucial to the transformation of Soviet society known as the Thaw... This reviewer recommends the book to all academic audiences—students and scholars of modern Russian history."

"The book draws from an impressive variety of sources... it is also remarkable in the way that it spans social and architectural history. Harris demonstrates the relevance of architecture for social history and also provides explicit hands-on examples of the socially constructed nature of the built environment."