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False Tsars

Overview

Covering all pretenders to the Russian throne from the Times of Troubles to the end of the nineteenth century, this book stops just short of the false Alekseis and false Anastasias of our time. Explaining why some of the pretenders attracted wide social support, which others lacked, the author examines the role of self-fashioning and impersonation in Russian culture. Szvák focuses on three principal "waves" of pretenders: the false Dimitris (all claiming to be Ivan the Terrible's son Dimitri who died in ...

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Overview

Covering all pretenders to the Russian throne from the Times of Troubles to the end of the nineteenth century, this book stops just short of the false Alekseis and false Anastasias of our time. Explaining why some of the pretenders attracted wide social support, which others lacked, the author examines the role of self-fashioning and impersonation in Russian culture. Szvák focuses on three principal "waves" of pretenders: the false Dimitris (all claiming to be Ivan the Terrible's son Dimitri who died in childhood), the false Peters (following the death of Catherine the Great's husband in the palace coup of 1762), and the false Constantines of the nineteenth century (trying to assume the identity of Nicholas I's older brother Constantine).

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Szv<'a>k (Russian studies, U. of Budapest) discusses the countless pretenders to the Russian throne who claimed to be the rightful sovereigns of the country and the people from the 16th century to the 20th, especially the Time of Troubles. Relying on primary sources, on the historical literature in several languages, and on his own common sense, he gives more than one version of an episode and tries to stay close to established fact. The events throw light on Russian economic, social, and military history, as well as the issue of tsardom itself and its impact on the people. The book is distributed in the US by Columbia U. Press. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780880334532
  • Publisher: East European Monographs
  • Publication date: 11/23/2000
  • Series: EEM Social Science Monographs Series
  • Pages: 180
  • Product dimensions: 5.85 (w) x 8.83 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Gyula Szvák is the director of the Center for Russian Studies at Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Ch. 1 The Terrible "Good Tsar" 1
Ch. 2 A Fraud on the Throne 7
Ch. 3 Fake False Tsars 27
Ch. 4 Impostors Abroad 47
Ch. 5 The Cossack Leader and the Invisible False Tsarevich 61
Ch. 6 The Antichrist Tsar and His False Sons 81
Ch. 7 Empresses, Minions, Impostors 95
Ch. 8 A Folk Hero in the Robe of a Tsar 109
Ch. 9 The Legend Dies 131
Ch. 10 From Tsar Grishka to Ostap Bender 147
Notes 153
Map 165
Index 167
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