The production of architects working in the postwar Eastern bloc remains largely absent from surveys of modern architecture and from the consciousness of most architects and historians outside the region. Unlike the global South and categories such as gender, race, environment, and everydayness, the Eastern bloc and the Communist world have not yet been widely embraced as essential topics for architectural history. Ana Miljački's The Optimum Imperative makes a compelling case that this absence is not simply a question of geographic inclusion; rather, it is better understood as a failure to engage with the political and material questions posed to capitalist architectural practices by histories of large-scale, state-funded...

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