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Summerfolk: A History of the Dacha, 1710 2000

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9781501704406
Author(s): Stephen Lovell
Format: Paperback
Year: 2016
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Dimensions: 170 x 241 x 18 (w x l x h)
Pages: 280

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Description:
The dacha is a sometimes beloved, sometimes scorned Russian dwelling. Alexander Pushkin summered in one; Joseph Stalin lived in one for the last twenty years of his life; and contemporary Russian families still escape the city to spend time in them. Stephen Lovell's generously illustrated book is the first social and cultural history of the dacha. Lovell traces the dwelling's origins as a villa for the court elite in the early eighteenth century through its nineteenth-century role as the emblem of a middle-class lifestyle, its place under communist rule, and its post-Soviet incarnation. A fascinating work rich in detail, Summerfolk explores the ways in which Russia's turbulent past has shaped the function of the dacha and attitudes toward it. The book also demonstrates the crucial role that the dacha has played in the development of Russia's two most important cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg, by providing residents with a refuge from the squalid and crowded metropolis. Like the suburbs in other nations, the dacha form of settlement served to alleviate social anxieties about urban growth.
Lovell shows that the dacha is defined less by its physical location'usually one or two hours' distance from a large city yet apart from the rural hinterland-than by the routines, values, and ideologies of its inhabitants. Drawing on sources as diverse as architectural pattern books, memoirs, paintings, fiction, and newspapers,
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