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Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie
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Nicholas and Alexandra (1967)

by Robert K. Massie

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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
I don't know where to begin. I'm a history fanatic. I've read Catherine the Great bio. Since then I've been in search for another good book about Russian history. Other than what I learned about Russia in the 70 and 80's in school, plus what I've learned of the country as an adult...I admit, I know nothing of the real history of how Russia got to the point it is now.

This book was a perfect lesson on how Russia has struggled with their identity as a country. Tsar Nicholas struggled being thrust into a position at the age of 16, following the death of his father.

His marriage to Alexandra was controversial from the beginning. Then her loyalty to her family only made matters worse. The Russians began to turn against her and the Tsar for her motherly duties.

Then the evil, twisted Rasputin came along. This only solidified the hate for the family.

Knowing little facts, I was heartbroken to read how the entire family was murdered. I'm not one to be emotionally taken by a book. I did catch myself gasping when I read how brutal the murders were.

I would suggest this book to any person that is interested in learning about history of different countries. Extremely well written. ( )
  cbilbo | Apr 8, 2014 |
I don't know where to begin. I'm a history fanatic. I've read Catherine the Great bio. Since then I've been in search for another good book about Russian history. Other than what I learned about Russia in the 70 and 80's in school, plus what I've learned of the country as an adult...I admit, I know nothing of the real history of how Russia got to the point it is now.

This book was a perfect lesson on how Russia has struggled with their identity as a country. Tsar Nicholas struggled being thrust into a position at the age of 16, following the death of his father.

His marriage to Alexandra was controversial from the beginning. Then her loyalty to her family only made matters worse. The Russians began to turn against her and the Tsar for her motherly duties.

Then the evil, twisted Rasputin came along. This only solidified the hate for the family.

Knowing little facts, I was heartbroken to read how the entire family was murdered. I'm not one to be emotionally taken by a book. I did catch myself gasping when I read how brutal the murders were.

I would suggest this book to any person that is interested in learning about history of different countries. Extremely well written. ( )
  cbilbo | Apr 8, 2014 |
In this commanding book, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Robert K. Massie sweeps readers back to the extraordinary world of Imperial Russia to tell the story of the Romanovs’ lives: Nicholas’s political naïveté, Alexandra’s obsession with the corrupt mystic Rasputin, and little Alexis’s brave struggle with hemophilia. Against a lavish backdrop of luxury and intrigue, Massie unfolds a powerful drama of passion and history—the story of a doomed empire and the death-marked royals who watched it crumble. ( )
  MarkBeronte | Jan 9, 2014 |
There's a photograph of Tsar Nicholas II—the last in the set of photographs in the book—sitting on a tree stump, looking thin and rather haggard. By the time the photograph was taken, he had abdicated the throne and was now a prisoner along with his family. Despite the ill treatment his family was already enduring, his whole face still bears the kindness for which he was renowned. This picture said almost as much to me as the terrific book Massie wrote (that whole picture is worth a thousand word thing, I guess). Perhaps had Nicholas ruled at a different time in Russia, history would look upon him more favorably. Alas, he ruled before and during World War I, a bloody time when a less soft-hearted leader would have been more effective. But Nicholas had many things against him, starting with the ill luck of having a hemophiliac son.

( )
  stacy_chambers | Aug 22, 2013 |
God, this wrecked me. Just as in Catherine the Great, Massie is an absolute wizard. How he manages to keep sense of names and dates and then translate that into something that never feels boring or dense is beyond me. An absolute masterpiece. Even in knowing what the end result was, I still couldn't help but be so shocked with how everything played out. Every member of the Imperial family is so lovingly fleshed out, especially Alexis, that the gruesome murders at the end felt like a death in the family. Brilliant and heart wrenching. Love. 5 stars. ( )
  aelizabethj | Apr 1, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
"I have a firm, an absolute conviction that the fate of Russia---that my own fate and that of my family---is in the hands of God who has placed me where I am. Whatever may happen to me, I shall bow to His will with the consciousness of never having had any thought other than that of serving the country which He has entrusted to me."

NICHOLAS II

"After all, the nursery was the center of all Russia's troubles."

SIR BERNARD PARES

"The Empress refused to surrender to fate. She talked incessantly of the ignorance of the physicians . . . She turned towards religion, and her prayers were tainted with a certain hysteria. The stage was ready for the appearance of a miracle worker . . ."

GRAND DUKE ALEXANDER

"The illness of the Tsarevich cast its shadow over the whole of the concluding period of Tsar Nicholas II's reign and alone can explain it. Without appearing to be, it was one of the main causes of his fall, for it made possible the phenomenon of Rasputin and resulted in the fatal isolation of the sovereigns who lived in a world apart, wholly absorbed in a tragic anxiety which had to be concealed from all eyes."

PIERRE GILLIARD
Tutor of Tsarevich Alexis

"Without Rasputin, there could have been no Lenin."

ALEXANDER KERENSKY
Dedication
To Suzanne
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From the Baltic city of St. Petersburg, built on a river marsh in a far northern corner of the empire, the Tsar ruled Russia.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345438310, Paperback)

The story of the love that ended an empire

In this commanding book, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Robert K. Massie sweeps readers back to the extraordinary world of Imperial Russia to tell the story of the Romanovs’ lives: Nicholas’s political naïveté, Alexandra’s obsession with the corrupt mystic Rasputin, and little Alexis’s brave struggle with hemophilia. Against a lavish backdrop of luxury and intrigue, Massie unfolds a powerful drama of passion and history—the story of a doomed empire and the death-marked royals who watched it crumble.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:32 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

More than a quarter of a century after it was first published in hardcover comes a never-before-issued trade paperback edition of the classic Nicholas and Alexandra. Featuring a new introduction by its Pulitzer Prize -- winning author, this powerful work sweeps us back to the extraordinary world of Imperial Russia to tell the story of the Romanovs' lives: Nicholas's political naivete, Alexandra's obsession with the corrupt mystic Rasputin, and little Alexis's brave struggle with hemophilia. Against a lavish backdrop of luxury and intrigue, Robert K. Massie unfolds a powerful drama of passion and history -- the story of a doomed empire and the death-marked royals who watched it crumble.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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