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    By: Paola Messana

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    "This book brings together fascinating testimonies from thirty inhabitants of the Kommunalka, the communal apartments that were the norm in housing in the cities of Russia during the whole history of the Soviet Union. The Kommunalka was perhaps the most important social experiment undertaken by the Soviet regime, having arguably as much if not more of an effect on the outlook of inhabitants than external political realities. Beginning in 1920, almost overnight, multiple Russian families were crammed together into single apartments, purposefully chosen to represent different classes in the same space. The intent was not just to level out class differences, but also to create spy systems within homes so as to extend the governments surveillance abilities and its control over daily life"--

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