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The Romanovs: 1613-1918 (2016)

de Simon Sebag-Montefiore

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1,4391712,983 (3.85)15
Biography & Autobiography. History. Politics. Nonfiction. HTML:

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 gripping 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 Ivan the Terrible to Tolstoy and Pushkin, to Bismarck, Lincoln, Queen Victoria and Lenin.

To rule Russia was both imperial-sacred mission and poisoned chalice: six of the last twelve tsars were murdered. 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 afterward), enjoyed affairs with a series of young male favorites, conquered Ukraine and fascinated Europe. Paul I was strangled by courtiers backed by his own son, Alexander I, who in turn 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 composed by a ruler. The Romanovs climaxes with a fresh, unforgettable portrayal of Nicholas II and Alexandra, the rise and murder of Rasputin, war and revolution??and the harrowing massacre of the entire family.

Dazzlingly entertaining and beautifully written from start to finish, The Romanovs brings these monarchs??male and female, great and flawed, their families and courts??blazingly to life. Drawing on new archival research, Montefiore delivers an enthralling epic of triumph and tragedy, love and murder, encompassing the seminal years 1812, 1914 and 1917, that is both a universal study of power and a portrait of empire that helps define Russia tod
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» Mira també 15 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 17 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Dnf but fantastic book ( )
  littoface | Feb 2, 2024 |
This was an excellent overview of the Romanov dynasty. It didn't quite rate 4 stars for me as it got a bit slow in places and, well. I think too that, like many overviews of this sort it suffers for not consistently finding the middle course between trying to cover things well and not getting bogged down.

Not being well-informed about Russian history (reading this is part of my attempt to fix said lack), I can't speak to its historical accuracy, but it's gotten good reviews from people and places that are, so there's that.

I think I enjoyed the section on the 18th century the best. It was particularly nice to get a sensible picture of Catherine the Great, whose popular image... well, is preposterous. I read [b:Peter the Great: His Life and World|130363|Peter the Great His Life and World|Robert K. Massie|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1171992814l/130363._SY75_.jpg|2731382] (which was great) a couple years ago and I enjoyed revisiting him. He's certainly the most colorful of the dynasty!

The ending, as it were, is sad and frustrating. Nicholas II was stubborn, reactionary, deluded, and, frankly, not very bright. He makes a rather pathetic figure against the likes of Peter and Catherine. ( )
  qaphsiel | Feb 20, 2023 |
4.5 stars - a vast read but engaging and entertaining. Obviously covers a lot but gives a great overview of the cast of characters that ruled Russia for so long. ( )
  thewestwing | Aug 12, 2022 |
4.5 stars but only because I got sick of reading about mistresses after awhile and the occasional irrelevant aside. Also, the author uses incorrect terms for Russian Orthodox practices which was jarring. Otherwise, a decent overview of the Romanovs. ( )
  pacbox | Jul 9, 2022 |
Tragic and terrible. Washed down with liberal amounts of L. M. Montgomery.







I thought it would be educational to learn more about the history of Russia (I know way too much about the US and Europe). I have learned much. But I don't want to learn it again.
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 17 (següent | mostra-les totes)
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Simon Sebag-Montefioreautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Bottmann, DeniseTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Bourdon-Brécourt, Prune LeTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Carina, ClaudioTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Chazal, TilmanTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Dohmen, ToonTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Galindo, Rogério W.Traductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Gockel, GabrieleÜbersetzerautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Guerra, RenataTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Le Bourdon-Brécourt, PruneTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Lee, CarolineTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Negrea, IrinaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Parizzi, MassimoTraduttoreautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Posti, EdaToimetajaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Rabasseda, JoanTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Rizzo, ChiaraTraduttoreautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Schuhmacher, NaemiÜbersetzerautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Schuhmacher, SonjaÜbersetzerautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Soelen, Chiel vanTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Steckhan, BarbaraÜbersetzerautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Wardt, Gerard van derTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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1926-2014

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1919-2014
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Biography & Autobiography. History. Politics. Nonfiction. HTML:

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 gripping 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 Ivan the Terrible to Tolstoy and Pushkin, to Bismarck, Lincoln, Queen Victoria and Lenin.

To rule Russia was both imperial-sacred mission and poisoned chalice: six of the last twelve tsars were murdered. 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 afterward), enjoyed affairs with a series of young male favorites, conquered Ukraine and fascinated Europe. Paul I was strangled by courtiers backed by his own son, Alexander I, who in turn 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 composed by a ruler. The Romanovs climaxes with a fresh, unforgettable portrayal of Nicholas II and Alexandra, the rise and murder of Rasputin, war and revolution??and the harrowing massacre of the entire family.

Dazzlingly entertaining and beautifully written from start to finish, The Romanovs brings these monarchs??male and female, great and flawed, their families and courts??blazingly to life. Drawing on new archival research, Montefiore delivers an enthralling epic of triumph and tragedy, love and murder, encompassing the seminal years 1812, 1914 and 1917, that is both a universal study of power and a portrait of empire that helps define Russia tod

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