Juliana Maxim's new monograph on Romanian architecture under socialism is a welcome contribution to the booming interdisciplinary field of Second World urbanity studies.1 Not only does it bring into focus new material on Romanian architectural culture previously unavailable to English-language readers, but it also raises original research questions that challenge long-standing stereotypes about the production of space under socialism. In this way, the book offers more than an excursion into the transformation of Bucharest between 1949 and 1964. It stands as a compelling, theory-driven analysis of modern architecture as a “social condenser”—bringing together political, social, and cultural imaginaries—which makes it relevant for a broader audience.2

The...

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