Books

The Making of a Few Mistakes

Landscapes of Communism: A History Through Buildings by Owen Hatherley Allen Lane, 2015, 624 pages, $49.99 Owen Hatherley’s fascinating, if frequently wrong-headed, Landscapes of Communism is a blend of sermon, history and travelogue wrapped into an interpretation of the architecture of communist rule. The best way to approach it is through its antechamber, Hatherley’s Militant Modernism (2008), a snappy paean to modernism. That Zero Books, the publisher of Militant Modernism, included a page proudly distancing itself from the “cretinous anti-intellectualism” and “banal conformity” of “late capitalism”—the last a term that is pose, not description—gives a suggestion of what to expect.…

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