Neil Leach’s book, Architecture and Revolution: Contemporary Perspectives on Central and Eastern Europe (1999) asserts that the consequences of political revolution bring about a social change in both the built environment and the culture that contends with the previous regime’s socialist realism. Through writings from prominent architects, political and cultural theorists, critics, professors, and philosophers, Leach provides examples of how architecture has influenced social behavior from the October Revolution of 1917 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Leach’s purpose is to examine the cities that have experienced social and political unrest, such as Moscow, Bucharest, and Berlin, in order to discover how building architecture can act as a means of re-building the identity of these cities. By including writings and discussions from architects and members of these cities in transition, Leach is speaking to the generation that survives ‘Beyond the Wall,’ essentially those who are willing to pick up the pieces of a broken city and forge a new identity.
Mark Dorrian’s book review of Architecture and Revolution: Contemporary Perspectives on Central and Eastern Europe (2001) agrees that the architecture of Socialist Realism is a central component to the writings included in Leach’s book. Dorrian makes this claim by providing a list of issues that exemplify the disjointedness of culture and legislature from an architectural and social perspective. Dorrian’s purpose is to question the separation between the actions of a leader and the people he/she oversees in order to establish a stronger self-understanding of the people by both parties. The writing is directed more towards the politically and culturally philosophical readers, rather than those with an architectural background.
Dorrian, Mark. 2000. “Architecture and Revolution (Book Review).” Architectural Heritage no. 11:91. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed September 28, 2013).
Leach, Neil. Architecture and Revolution: Contemporary Perspectives on Central and Eastern Europe. London: Routledge, 1999. Print.