Living the Revolution
Urban Communes & Soviet Socialism, 1917-1932
Reviews and Awards
Winner of the 2016 Alexander Nove Prize, awarded by the British Association for Slavonic & East European Studies.
"With this book, Andy Willimott enters the small circle of historians devoted to the communal movement in the early USSR." -- Éric Aunoble, University of Geneva, The International Newsletter of Communist Studies
"original and engaging ... Willimott has got close to his subjects and tells their stories with enthusiasm. He acknowledges that they are only a small part of the history of the Revolution, but he is not troubled by whether their experience is representative, precisely because they offer new stories told from unusual angles that illuminate wider themes. There is much for students and scholars to enjoy and learn from in this important book." -- Mark B. Smith, Slavonic and East European Review
"By presenting communards as driven by both revolutionary hope and belief that an interventionist state could create a harmonious, rational, modern world, and by indicating how their ideas for daily life, cultural enlightenment and building the new socialist person persisted into the 1930s, Willimott revises the understanding that their initiatives constituted a fleeting manifestation of utopian visions that was extinguished by rising state socialist construction. That this older interpretation largely held ground since 1989 (when Richard Stites offered the first significant scholarly treatment of urban communes in his Revolutionary Dreams) speaks to the path-breaking nature of this book." -- English Historical Review
"Willimott's prose, which is consistently inviting, paints a vivid portrait of daily life in urban communes" -- Edward Cohen, Journal of Modern History