The Romanovs

The Romanovs


eBook - 2016
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The Romanovs were the most successful dynasty of modern times, ruling a sixth of the world's surface for three centuries. How did one family turn a war-ruined principality into the world's greatest empire? And how did they lose it all? This is the intimate story of twenty tsars and tsarinas, some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition. Simon Sebag Montefiore's gripping chronicle reveals their secret world of unlimited power and ruthless empire-building, overshadowed by palace conspiracy, family rivalries, sexual decadence and wild extravagance, with a global cast of adventurers, courtesans, revolutionaries and poets, from Ivan the Terrible to Tolstoy and Pushkin, to Bismarck, Lincoln, Queen Victoria and Lenin. To rule Russia was both imperial-sacred mission and poisoned chalice: six of the last twelve tsars were murdered. Peter the Great tortured his own son to death while making Russia an empire, and dominated his court with a dining club notable for compulsory drunkenness, naked dwarfs and fancy dress. Catherine the Great overthrew her own husband (who was murdered soon afterward), enjoyed affairs with a series of young male favorites, conquered Ukraine and fascinated Europe. Paul I was strangled by courtiers backed by his own son, Alexander I, who in turn faced Napoleon's invasion and the burning of Moscow, then went on to take Paris. Alexander II liberated the serfs, survived five assassination attempts and wrote perhaps the most explicit love letters ever composed by a ruler. The Romanovs climaxes with a fresh, unforgettable portrayal of Nicholas II and Alexandra, the rise and murder of Rasputin, war and revolution—and the harrowing massacre of the entire family.Dazzlingly entertaining and beautifully written from start to finish, The Romanovs brings these monarchs—male and female, great and flawed, their families and courts—blazingly to life. Drawing on new archival research, Montefiore delivers an enthralling epic of triumph and tragedy, love and murder, encompassing the seminal years 1812, 1914 and 1917, that is both a universal study of power and a portrait of empire that helps define Russia today.
Publisher: 2016
ISBN: 9781101946978
Characteristics: 1 online resource


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Feb 17, 2017

This is one overwhelming volume that spans over 300 years, with precision and an eye on the shocking. With so little abridged and too many footnotes, this might have been better in two volumes. The nineteenth century is easier to read if only because there are more sources and most of us are more familiar. Not to be missed for the unforgiving telling of all the lascivious tidbits and arbitrary rules and mores.

Nov 18, 2016

The book details 300 years of despotism in which the Romanov Tsars and Tsarinas brutally subjugated and ruthlessly exploited multiple millions. Here we read about rulers who believed the ‘divine right of kings’ permitted them to do anything they pleased, without having to answer to anyone, human or divine. These outwardly religious autocrats behaved as if they did not even have to answer to the Almighty. Galatians 6:7-8 reads, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption...” While reading the Bible, they either skipped over these verses or read them and decided they did not apply to Emperors and Empresses.

It is little wonder this debauched and dissolute dynasty ended in a bloodbath. I only wonder why it took the Russian people so long to rid themselves of such tyrants.

Lord Acton came to the conclusion that, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." I think you will agree with the man after reading The Romanovs.

Aug 27, 2016

Despite the NY Times, I found this to be a highly readable introduction to the Romanov history. The NY Journal's review siting the treachery, debauchery scheming, maneuvering and incompetence, not to mention, barbarity is spot on.


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