Departures Podcast featuring Karl Schlögel, author of “The Soviet Century: Archaeology of a Lost World”

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From the Russian Revolution of 1917 to the chaotic disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, there is a dazzling and disorienting array of histories. While many books detail the lives and politics of Soviet leaders, Karl Schlögel invites us to better understand the experience of the country through the lives lived by more common Russians, from the depredations of communal apartments, repression, and violence, to the more prosaic aspects of Soviet life – the relics and rituals of museums, the grandeur and intensity of gigantic public works projects.

In his new book, “The Soviet Century: Archaeology of a Lost World,” Schlögel, who is one of Germany’s most authoritative historians on Russia, presents a history that is not comprehensive or categorical, but instead personal. In this conversation with Robert Amsterdam, Schlögel discusses his approach to such a vast period with selection of coloful vingettes, taking the reader inside the Soviety experience with extraordinary depth and detail.