This is a fascinating story of the cultural history of the Stalin monument told through archival and historical documents, interviews with those involved, literary treatments of the monument, and visual representations. What lessons does the case of Stalin in Prague tell us about cultural memory and forgetting? What does it tell us about the absurdities of totalitarian (and perhaps not only totalitarian) rule? The history of the construction and destruction of the Stalin monument – and the ways in which the monument has resonated in Czech literary culture – reads more like an absurdist tragic-comic novel than “real” history. As I read the book, I understood that history has much more in common with literary narrative than we would like to admit; it is a space for the construction (and sometimes also the demolition) of identities, both personal and national. David S. Danaher, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literature, University of Wisconsin-Madison The book includes a unique collection of photographs that have not been published before, taken during the demolition of the monument in the early 1960s.
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