Eli Rubin has written a wonderful book that does not just tell a fascinating story about an important but much neglected subject, but also manages to link this story to much broader historiographical, and indeed ontological, questions about the intersections between space, on one hand, and power, time and lived experience on the other.
For those interested in learning more about, and reflecting upon, the iconic Russian revolutions of 1917 during this centenary year, there has been no shortage of recent publications.
‘Risen from the ruins and facing the future’ affirmed Johannes Becher’s emphatic opening strophe to the national anthem of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), composed in that state’s birthyear of 1949. It was a stirring message, and one that amply reflected the political imperative that had come to suffuse the material task of reconstruction after six years of devastating war.
At least three factors go towards explaining why the destruction of Spanish cities during the Civil War (1936–9) and the subsequent reconstruction efforts have long been overlooked and under-studied.