The Romanovs 1613-1918

The Romanovs 1613-1918

Audiobook CD - 2016
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The acclaimed author of 'Young Stalin' now gives listeners an accessible, lively, wholly revelatory account--based in part on new archival material, of the extraordinary men and women who ruled Russia for three centuries.
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. 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, and peopled by a cast of adventurers, courtesans, revolutionaries and poets, from Ivan the Terrible to Tolstoy, from Queen Victoria to Lenin. To rule Russia was both imperial-sacred mission and poisoned chalice: six tsars were murdered and all the Romanovs lived under constant threat to their lives. 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 afterwards - loved her young male favourites, conquered Ukraine and fascinated Europe. Paul was strangled by courtiers backed by his own son, Alexander I, who 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 written by a ruler. THE ROMANOVS climaxes with a fresh, unforgettable portrayal of Nicholas and Alexandra, the rise and murder of Rasputin, war and revolution - and the harrowing massacre of the entire family
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : Random House ; 2016
ISBN: 9781409166450
1409166457
Branch Call Number: MP3 B Romanov Sebag Mo
Characteristics: 4 sound discs (28.45 hr.) : digital, MP3 ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Beale, Simon Russell

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TheresaAJ
Jan 05, 2017

Montefiore has written a tome that surveys the political and personal lives of the 20 Romanov tsars from Michael I to Nicholas II. As the author details the dynasty's 304 years, the reader watches Russia grow in size, move from an Eastern to a Western orientation, and sees that acquiring an heir is an all consuming endeavor for more than one tsar. The reader quickly learns that acquiring power is one thing while holding onto power is quite another task. The road to the throne is paved with intrigue, blood, sexual hijinks, and outright deception. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the author gained access to many previously unpublished documents and the Russian state archives. Montefiore's most interesting assertions are that Stalin and Putin are also following the path of the Romanov tsars under the political guise of their time in history. Although I listened to the audiobook, I also ended up getting the print version so I could follow the complicated genealogy charts, the map of the ever-expanding country, and the illustrations.

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