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Building overshadowed by palace conspiracy family rivalries sexual decadence and wild extravaganceDrawing on new archival research Montefiore delivers an enthralling epic of triumph and tragedy love and murder that is both a universal study of power and a portrait of empire that helps define Russia today. This is a sensational and dramatic account of the family that ruled Russia for 300 years characterised by Simon Sebag Montefiore s lurid prose and blunt and often humorous commentary about a dysfunctional family successfully presiding over the expansion of an empire despite and possibly because of their eccentric use of absolute power in the form of the last autocracy in Europe Gargantuan sexual appetites dangerous toadyism some extraordinary good luck and the advantages of geography and population pockmark this endlessly entertaining account That is up until the serious sombre Nicholas II when the tone of the book and the fate of the Romanovs darkens to their extinction with the book s bleak conclusion in a cellar in Ekaterinberg Montefiore doesn t spare the Romonovs in either their sexual escapades or their policy bungles but what is uniue about this family is how closely the two were linked and from time to time he pops up with a story showing how influential this was on future generations and leaders of Russia Their impulses took the largest country on earth in various risky directions until their luck ran out and the most sober of them in this account anyway led them to destruction by being that impossible contradiction in terms the weak autocratSections on Peter the Great whose life proved that gory is clearly an anagram of orgy and on the death of Potemkin lived on gold died on grass stick out in my mind as well as the distressing details of the final days of the Romanovs Autocracy had outlived its usefulness by then and Nicholas crimes are plain to see but it is difficult not to be moved by the cruelty of their fate at the hands of the Bolsheviks

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The Romanovs: 1613-1918

Epic history on the grandest scale Game of Thronesseems like the proverbial vicar's tea party in comparison Financial TimesThe Romanovs were the most successful dynasty of modern times ruling a sixth of the worlds surface for three centuries How did one family turn a war ruined principality into the world. For those who like their history both interesting and readable this is your book This author writes in a very journalistic or even novel like style and it s easy to forget as you re reading that this is than a story The book moves along very uickly and you ll find it is very much of the don t want to put it down variety I was pleased that it was available in e bookKindle format as one can read along and uickly look up unfamiliar historical references or just investigate parts of the story that are interesting As for the subject matter the book truly is a riveting story of the various luminary members of the dynasty and their greater place within the times they lived and ruled The author helpfully provides a family tree and brief single line identifier of the major characters during various periods so that readers can keep track of the many players some of whom were around for a very long time If you re a Game of Thrones fan the story line will seem uite familiar in some places with the difference being of course these events really happened ✓ 4 Summary

S greatest empire And how did they lose it allThis 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 Montefiores gripping chronicle reveals their secret world of unlimited power and ruthless empire. The author does the best job he can to uncomplicate this incredibly complicated story In Russian history it seems as though there must have been only a handful of names to choose from so in this story there are multiple Alexanders Peters Nicholas s Maries and Alexandras etc Makes it difficult to wrap your brain around but fascinating nonetheless I could ve done with about their personal lives and less about all the wars and warring over territory I read this on a kindle which might have been a disadvantage because the family trees are there but not as easy to find on a kindle and there don t seem to be any maps either Maps would have made the wars and wrangling over territory easier to understand as well especially since a lot of the countries don t even go by the same name any The depth of this book however really helps you get to the bottom of how the Romanovs held their power in Russia for so long and might even give the modern day reader a glimpse into why Putin is well Putin

11 thoughts on “The Romanovs: 1613-1918

  1. says:

    For those who like their history both interesting and readable, this is your book. This author writes in a very journalistic, or even novel like, style, and it's easy to forget as you're reading that this is than a story. The book moves along very quickly, and you'll find it is very much of the don't want to put it down variety. I

  2. says:

    Human history is full of violence and ineptitude. Nothing makes that clear than Mr Montefiore's examination of the Romanov dynasty. This is a well researched, well documented, and well written volume that is essential to anyone interested in r

  3. says:

    Fascinating story. The geneology gets a bit complex at times, but it certainly helps explain the Russian mindset that led them back to what is essentially an autocracy under Putin. It was interesting to learn that the first tsar of the Romanov

  4. says:

    The author does the best job he can to uncomplicate this incredibly complicated story. In Russian history it seems as though there must have been only a handful of names to choose from, so in this story there are multiple Alexanders, Peters, Nicholas's, Maries and Alexandras etc. Makes it difficult to wrap your brain around, but fascinating nonetheless. I could've done with about their personal lives and less about all the wars and warring

  5. says:

    This book is a must if you are into Russian history it tells the story of the Romanovs, since the first one to the fall of the dinasty. It is definitely some heavy reading in some parts you have to think that you

  6. says:

    I found Romanovs to be a very intriguing and enlightening read. As my heritage (on my paternal grandfather's side) is Russian, I found the book extremely interesting, and I learned a history of this dynasty that I know I never would have learned otherwise. Knowing how atheistically communistic the U.S.S.R. and Russia have always been portr

  7. says:

    This is a sensational and dramatic account of the family that ruled Russia for 300 years, characterised by Simon Sebag Montefiore's lurid prose and blunt (and often humorous) commentary about a dysfunctional fam

  8. says:

    I think most people only know the 20th century part of Russia. The end of a so called tyrannical Tsar and the brutal October revolutionaries who took over to the current Kremlin incumbent. The Romanovs were a major force of War and Politics for over 300 years and some of their descendants are scattered throughout the world. The deaths of Tsar Nicholas II and his family is still gut wrenchingly sad to read. Totally unnecessary! Simon has w

  9. says:

    This is, appropriately for the subject matter, a dense and heavy book how else could it be, given the complexity

  10. says:

    Very broad in scope. From an author who knows Russian history having written two books on Stalin. He doesn’t dwell on each tsar or tsarina individually but provides enough background to each and most importantly each relevant family tree. Some of them stood out as leaders like Catherine the Great and Peter th

  11. says:

    This is undoubtedly a great book, giving the entire history of the Romanovs. For me the problem was as a daughter of an impoverished Russian nob