The Romanovs

The Romanovs


Book - 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 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 Peter the Great, who made Russia an empire, to a fresh portrayal of Nicholas II and Alexandra and the harrowing massacre of the entire family, this book brings these monarchs--male and female, great and flawed, their families and courts--blazingly to life. Drawing on new archival research, Montefiore delivers both a universal study of power and a portrait of empire that helps define Russia today.--Adapted from dust jacket.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2016
Edition: First American edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780307266521
Branch Call Number: 947.099 R6624S 2016
Characteristics: xxxiv, 744 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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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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