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Nicholas I: Emperor and Autocrat of All the…

Nicholas I: Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias

by W. Bruce Lincoln

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Good coverage of an interesting reign. Lincoln is always a good read and this period and rule deserve his thorough treatment. ( )
  Whiskey3pa | Jun 4, 2012 |
Good histrorical work - would be excellent if not for repetitiveness and watering down in some places. There are many books describing the period but none of have Nicholas I as a focal point. ( )
  everfresh1 | May 20, 2011 |
If you're looking for the definitive work on this most interesting historical figure, this book is as close as you'll probably get. Tsar Nicholas I was an extremely significant and interesting Russian leader, who is too often over-looked today and or dismissed as simply an overly authoritative despot. He was an absolute autocrat, but as a man and in his historical context such simplifications are insulting.

Lincoln's style of writing is very enjoyable, it is presented in a way that is approachable for someone with no previous knowledge of the subject, but is still satisfying to the more passionate follower of the history. Lincoln covers Nicholas' life from birth, to the circumstances which led to his ascension, to his unfortunate last years as Tsar (the period which tends to be erroneously represented as what his entire 30 year reign was like) and everything inbetween. He discusses the historical context and significance of everything and paints a realistic picture of Russia's 'apogee of autocracy'.

This book is an excellent read, highly informative and well worth paying for. It should provide the modern history student with a properly balanced assessment of the reign of the eternally impressive Tsar Nicholas I. ( )
  JesseM88 | Aug 16, 2009 |
1619 Nicholas I: Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, by W. Bruce Lincoln (read 24 Feb 1981) This is a dry, unpopularized biography of Nicholas I, who succeeded his brother Alexander I as Czar upon Alexander's death on 19 Nov 1824 (Russian calendar) and reigned until his death on 18 Feb 1855. This is a scholar's work, and, indulged as I have been by popular history and biography, there were parts I did not enjoy. I am not a professional historian and I do not always find pure history most interesting. And yet this was a good book, and I think its interpretations sound. While it does not defend the repressive, narrow-minded autocracy of Nicholas I, it does not denigrate Nicholas as a man and one cannot but feel for the anguish expressed by Nicholas, who wrote in a letter: "How strange is my fate! They tell me that I am one of the mightiest Princes on earth. And, one must admit that anything--that is, anything which is permissible--ought to be possible for me, that I could, in fact, be anywhere and do anything that I desired. But, in fact, for myself in particular, however, just the reverse is true. And should I be asked the reason for this anomaly, there is only one possible reply: Duty! Yes, that is not a meaningless word for me who from childhood was taught to understand it as I was. This word has a sacred meaning before which every personal impulse must give way. All must fall silent in the face of this feeling and must yield to it until one vanishes into the grave. Such is my watchword. It is harsh, I tell you truly. Beneath its weight, it is more agonizing than I can possibly tell you." ( )
  Schmerguls | Nov 30, 2008 |
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The Indiana U. Press edition (1978) is cited in BCL3 . A scholarly biography that provides a view of Russian autocracy. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

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