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Peter the Great

by Diane Stanley

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7821121,968 (3.84)20
A biography of the tsar who began the transformation of Russia into a modern state in the late seventeenth-early eighteenth centuries.

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This book is not only entertaining, but incredibly accurate as a biography of Peter the Great. Although aimed at children, this biography would help anyone who was interested learn why Peter the Great set out to create the city of St. Petersburg. This book would certainly be an excellent tool for providing a baseline to teach children about modernization as well as Russian history. The only drawback about this book is that in the illustrations, Peter the Great blends in with everyone else. Being six feet, seven inches tall, he never blended in with others. However, this minimal detail is the only drawback to this great biography. ( )
  dsniezak | Jan 22, 2016 |
Peter the Great by Diane Stanley tells the story of how Tsar Peter brought change to "the largest nation on earth", Russia. While Russia was a large nation, they were one that did not welcome change. The people of Russia believed that they should stay true to "the old ways". Stanley starts off by explaining that Peter was "a spoiled child...that believed whatever he wanted he should have." Peter saw how other countries, specifically those of western Europe, had welcomed "modern" advances specifically those involved with seafare. Peter traveled around these European countries learning everything he could from these them. He sent ten ships back to Russia filled with items he found interesting from his travels. Upon his return home, Peter was determined to bring the West with him, whether his people wanted it or not. He forced nobleman to cut off the beards and cut the sleeves off the elaborate tunics the wore. Peter's desire to "westernize" Russia "bled the people dry" due to heavy taxes that were imposed in order for him to build his navy. With the money from the taxes, Peter built St. Petersburg; a place he intended to be a great city and home for the country's navy. Peter did succeed in getting what he wanted; nothing stopped him. He was still that spoiled child from his youth.
I think this book would be good to use in a World History class to show how change was brought about in Russia. While other countries in Europe were making advance, Russia turned their back on them. They liked their tradition and wanted it to stay for future generations. However, Peter the Great wanted more for his country and his people. This book shows that while his intentions were good, he forced his wants on his people. I think this book would be good to show the start of the conflict between the classes. Peasants were the ones that suffered the most for Peter's desires. And that suffering of the lower class continues on for centuries until the fall of the monarch. ( )
  kmmoore | Jan 31, 2015 |
A great learn for this book of nonfiction. It is absorbing and historical for students. ( )
  magarcia | Nov 30, 2014 |
Summary: "Peter the Great" is a biography about the once crowned tsar of Russia. Peter was a boy who believed everything should be handed to him. As a man, Peter sought out to better his country in many different ways. He would demand social reforms and work to modernize Russia in unimaginable ways. His greatest accomplishment however was the formation of the Russian navy.

Review: While rather informative, I found it tiring to read through this entire story. I can hardly see a child enjoying this book, although in short segments, it can be a great resource in a classroom. The illustrations in "Peter the Great" are sure to render "oooh's" and "ahh's" by children, but they may find the text to be rather lengthy, such as I did. ( )
  cclark37 | Sep 29, 2014 |
I thought this book was a good biography. The author wrote the story using a narrative voice. The author used phrases such as "in the hush of dawn..." and "Like any spoiled child...". These types of phrases are more narrative than informational. I also liked the pictures. They were simple, yet realistic and enhanced the story. For example, many pictures expressed the traditional design of Russia. For readers who are unfamiliar with the Russian culture, those images would help them understand it a little more.

The main idea of the biography was to inform readers about the leader that forever changed Russia. ( )
  ocosta1 | Mar 5, 2014 |
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A biography of the tsar who began the transformation of Russia into a modern state in the late seventeenth-early eighteenth centuries.

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