Moscow: Ин-т изобразительной статистики сов. стро, 1938. First edition. Hardcover. Square folio (13 1/2 x 13 1/2"). Unpaginated. Original blind-stamped blue cloth. Illustrated endpapers.
"Moskva Rekonstruiruetsya (Moscow under Reconstruction) is one of the grandest of the Soviet photobooks designed by Alexander Rodchenko and Varvara Stepanova.
Like most Soviet propaganda books, the title is quite literal: it documents the extensive reconstruction of Moscow during the 1930s, when Stalin used his absolute power to transform the city...
The book begins conventionally enough, with the usual portraits of Lenin and Stalin, and some full-page photographs, but it is not long before the graphic pyrotechnics begin. A four-page fold-out panoramic photograph of a new hotel in Manezhnaya Square is followed a few pages later by the first of the 'keyhole' effects ... circular life-up flap in a photograph reveals another beneath. And so begins a whole raft of graphic effects, each piled upon another. There are cutaways, fold-outs, a spectacular map section with a separate photographically illustrated booklet pasted into it. ...
As with many Soviet propaganda books, one might ask whether--amongst all the graphic exuberance, the paintings, drawings, maps and diagrams--the photographs become lost, and therefore whether this is a true photobook. The answer to this complicated question is that in the greatest examples, such as this one, the book's primary message is carried by photographs ..." from The Photobook : A History Volume I / Martin Parr and Gerry Badger. London : Phaidon, 2004.
Spine rubbed and partly frayed along joints. Corners slightly rubbed. Tip of lower corner of front free endpaper chipped. Ex-library stamp, and previous owner's name in ink to moderately foxed and age-toned title page (not affecting lettering). Text in Russian. Binding in overall good-, interior in good to very good condition. g- to vg. Item #44916