Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia

The Family Romanov:  Murder, Rebellion and the Fall of Imperial Russia
By Candace Fleming
Schwarz and Wade, 2014.  292 pgs.  Biography

Fleming takes on the last of the Tsars in this compact, readable history of the Russian rebellion and the end of the Romanov dynasty. Nicholas and Alexandra were well-matched for each other, but not what Russia required of them. Nicholas was so scorned by his father, Tsar Alexander III, that he was completely excluded from any activities which might have prepared him to rule Russia.  In addition, his temperament was without a desire for power so he mostly hid out from his ministers and his people, only engaging with them in arbitrary and brutal ways. The rulers insularity and the people's plight is beautifully laid out in Fleming's book: people starved while the Romanovs lived in luxury and the introduction of Marxism and Lenin to this combustible mix sparked the Revolution which would change the world and lead to the execution of Nicholas and Alexandra, and all their children. Suitable for young people and adults, The Family Romanov . . .  provides a clear and even sympathetic picture of Russia's last royal family as they move blithely towards their doom.


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