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The Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg

de Helen Rappaport

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4342747,028 (3.9)41
A brilliant account of the political forces swirling through the remote Urals town of Ekaterinburg at the bitter end of the First World War. Challenges the view that the deaths of the Romanovs were a unilateral act by a maverick group of Bolsheviks, and identifies a chain of command that stretches to Moscow-- and to Lenin himself.… (més)
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3.25 stars

This book really does focus on the last two weeks of the lives of Tsar Nicholas II and his wife and children (4 daughters and 1 son) as they were imprisoned and later murdered. It does back up in time, though, to detail how they got where they were.

There was a lot more politics in the book than I’d expected, so that was not as interesting to me as the parts that did focus on the family itself. I will say, though, that this seemed really well researched, with a lot of primary sources being used, most notably (I think) writings by the last head guard of the Romanovs in Ekaterinburg (Yakov Yurovsky), who was also one of the main murderers. This book may have included the most detailed description of the murders themselves, likely due to the writings of Yurovsky. ( )
  LibraryCin | Oct 22, 2021 |
What can I say, I'm a whore for anything involving the Romanovs...
  DanielleBates | Sep 16, 2020 |
What can I say, I'm a whore for anything involving the Romanovs...
  DanielleBates | Sep 16, 2020 |
What can I say, I'm a whore for anything involving the Romanovs...
  DanielleBates | Sep 16, 2020 |
A fascinating account of the last 14 days in the lives of the Russian Imperial family. I’m always on the look-out for quality history books, but to find a reliable historian is extremely difficult, especially when it comes to Russian and Soviet history. So it’s always great to find a new author to add to the library, and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more of Helen Rappaport’s work.

Rappaport is an amazingly engaging writer and a diligent historian, and The Last Days of the Romanovs proves an absolutely cracking read. She handles her subjects with empathy, but doesn’t sanitize them, doesn't turn the Romanovs into saints. She also provides an incredibly astute historical context which helps to better understand the situation in Russia in 1917-1918 in general, and in Ekaterinburg in particular, providing an insight into the inner workings of the Ipatiev house, but not concentrating exclusively on it.

I have to remark on the chapter that details the execution of Nicholas and the family: in a pretty grim book, this one is downright devastating. Rappaport doesn’t savor or glamorize it, she categorizes all the horrors with almost clinical detachment, but she’s not unkind about it. It’s like she says, “Here’s the truth as I researched it and put together. Do with it what you see fit.”

Look, I’m really not a fan of any monarchy as a way of governance, and especially not a fan of Russian monarchy (I’m Ukrainian, anti-tsarism is in our blood), but I also have such a deep, burning, passionate hatred for Bolsheviks that even my distaste for monarchy can’t eclipse it. And the way Rappaport describes Bolsheviks, the Cheka, the whole sordid affair of the Revolution is so close to the way I learned about it listening to the stories of my parents and grandparents. The way the Bolsheviks killed 11 people, 5 of whom were practically children, mutilated their bodies, and then pilfered their possessions (all in the name of the Revolution, of course) just reminded me about tons of people in numerous countries under the Soviet regime who shared in the same fate at the hands of these thugs and murderers who called what they were doing a “will of the people”.

And today’s Russia functions on absolutely the same principles filled to the brim with propagandists and rabid bigoted Orthodox Christians, with a murderous tsar-batyushka as their leader. And it’s maddening and frustrating to see how Western Europe and America simply continue to believe the lies of this dangerous, destructive country. ( )
  tetiana.90 | Apr 28, 2020 |
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Don't you forget what's divine in the Russian soul -- and that's resignation. -Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes, 1911.
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For my daughters, Dani and Lucy
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On the evening of 29 April 1918, a special train stood in a siding at the remote railway halt of Lyubinskaya on the Trans-Siberian railway line, not far from the city of Omsk.
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A brilliant account of the political forces swirling through the remote Urals town of Ekaterinburg at the bitter end of the First World War. Challenges the view that the deaths of the Romanovs were a unilateral act by a maverick group of Bolsheviks, and identifies a chain of command that stretches to Moscow-- and to Lenin himself.

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