Nicholas And Alexandra (Common Reader Classic Bestseller Series)

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Overview

No matter how far back we travel in the annals of literature, the most compelling stories find their emotional core in the elemental relations of family. Nicholas and Alexandra, Robert K. Massie's bestselling 1967 account of the fall of Imperial Russia, is nothing if not a compelling story, and the vast and fascinating historical canvas the book paints is brilliantly illuminated by the family drama the author sees as its focal point: the ...
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Nicholas and Alexandra

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Overview

No matter how far back we travel in the annals of literature, the most compelling stories find their emotional core in the elemental relations of family. Nicholas and Alexandra, Robert K. Massie's bestselling 1967 account of the fall of Imperial Russia, is nothing if not a compelling story, and the vast and fascinating historical canvas the book paints is brilliantly illuminated by the family drama the author sees as its focal point: the hemophilia of Tsarevich Alexis, only son and heir of Nicholas II, last Tsar of all the Russians.

It is not just Massie's sensitive attention to the Romanov's intimate relations that makes Nicholas and Alexandra such an unforgettable and enduring volume. The author's mastery in marshaling facts and events, the astuteness of his historical emphases, his deft characterizations, the felicity of his prose—all combine to shape a narrative in which the familial dilemma is the kernel of an astonishing chronicle of history, politics, religion, and revolution that encompasses the twilight of Imperial Russia, the destructive influence of the monk Rasputin, and the martyrdom of Nicholas, Alexandra, and their five children.

Born in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1929, Robert K. Massie studied history at Yale University and, as a Rhodes Scholar, at Oxford, before embarking upon a successful career as an editor and writer. In addition to Nicholas and Alexandra, his books include the Pulitzer Prize-winning Peter the Great, The Romanovs: The Final Chapter, Dreadnought: Britain, Germany, and the Coming of the Great War, and Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea.

"An all-too-human picture . . . Both Nicholas and Alexandra with all their failings come truly alive, as does their almost storybook romance."
Newsday

"A larger than life drama, so bizarre, so heart-rending and, above all, so apocalyptic, that no novelist would have dared invent it."
<—Saturday Review Syndicate

"A wonderfully rich tapestry, the colors fresh and clear, every strand sewn in with a sure hand."
—The New York Times

"A magnificent and intimate picture . . . Not only the main characters but a whole era become alive and comprehensible."
Harper's Magazine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579124335
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/3/2005
  • Series: Common Reader Classic Bestseller Series
  • Pages: 704
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 2.10 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 66 )
Rating Distribution

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(56)

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(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 66 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing book

    This book means so much to me. My great grandfather was in the Russian army under the last 2 Tsars. He always spoke so highly of Nicholas and his family. He fled to America with his wife and children during the Revolution. My grandma Irina (renamed Irene, who will be 90 this year) grew up hearing about the family. She bought this book when it came out, being somewhat of a Romanov ameteur historian. She passed it to her son, my father, who also grew to love this amazing family. As fate would have it, I was born on the oldest daughter Grand Duchess Olga's b-day. When I was old enough, Grandma and Dad gave me their copy of this book. Every subsequent b-day and Christmas I recieve another book or some Romanov or imperial Russian related item. This is our way of honoring my heritage...

    25 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2010

    A Superb read!!

    This book was remarkable, Robert k. Massie allows the readers to really look into the Russian imperial family's daily life and feel as if they are there alongside them. He allows the reader to go through the good times and bad, with them and feel as though they are there watching the empire crumble at their feet. The reader can literally hear the calmness of Nicholas's commands during the war, feel the agony Alexandra deals with as she watches her son, Alexis suffer from hemophilia, and become friends and enemies with those who closely surround the family. Personally I found the book wonderful and would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in Russia, royalty, and romance or if you are just looking for a good read. (Which in all reality this book is far beyond just a "good read") The only part I did not enjoy was how in-depth Robert k. Massie went with the details of Rasputin's dirty deeds. However the information was pretty necessary to get the point and facts across. On the other hand, I loved all the details of the imperial families' daily life, coronations, and family vacations. Also the way Massie goes into each characters background and future was quite enjoyable. Robert k. Massie really knows his stuff! I would recommend any of the books written by Robert k. Massie on account of his writing style, ability, and overall knowledge of Russian history. If I had to rate this book on a scale of one to ten I would give it a 14, it really and truly went above and beyond all of my expectations and I'm so glad I read it! It truly is a must read book!!

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    My first history read

    And I loved it!!!!!!!!!!! This was my 35th birthday present to me from a dear friend and I cried at the end. I can't believe what happened to the Romanovs. I read this book in a matter of days. I couldn't put it down. It has inspired an excitement in me to learn more of european history which has always interested me. Massie wrote so well I couldn't tell I was learning history. I loved it so much that I do find my self still, after a couple of months since I read it, thinking about them and wishing things hadn't ended so tragically for them.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2001

    INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!

    I am 16 years old, and read this book for a book report. This was incrediblely powerful! The fall of Imperial Russia and the Romanov Family facinates me! This is the absoulte BEST book that I have read about the topic! Hats off to Robert K. Massie!!!!!!!!!!!! If you even remotely are interested in this book, READ IT!!! You will love it!

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2006

    An EXCELLENT piece literature!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One of the best book ever writing dealing with royal european history. The relationship between Nicholas & Alexandra and the times in which they lived is written in a very detailed and enjoyable fashion. If you love this book you should watch the movie Nicholas and Alexandra staring Janet Suzman and Tom Baker which was made in 1972.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2007

    Russian History at it's most interesting.

    As a student of history, I find a lot of the books can be dull or dry. Not this one. It's full of interesting infomation to humanise a very vivid part of Russian history with two of her most interesting characters. While completely non-fiction, it doesn't read like a textbook.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012

    Highly Recommended!

    I read this book just after I completed "Catherine The Great" by the same author, Robert K. Massie. I throughly enjoyed "Nicholas and Alexandra" because it gives the reader an up close and personal account of Russian history, and the Russian people in the late 19th Century and the early 20th Century. I appreciate the research the author had to do to put this very detailed account of the Tsar and his family together. I would highly recommend this book to anyone!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2011

    Informative, Heart Wrenching, Beautifully Written Book!

    Tsar Nicholas II was the last tsar of Russia, overthrown by the Bolsheviks and an enormous, starving nation. Him, his wife Alexandra and their four children were tragically murdered in the middle of the night by a nation that had grown to hate them. Robert K Massie does an exceptional job of showing how Nicholas and his family were victims of fate, exemplifying the power of propaganda and rumors, and how when a member of a family is chronically ill with a life-threatening illness the rest of the family will do anything possible to save the invalid. This book reads like a novel, while subtly teaching the reader all about the last tsar of Russia and his downfall. My only complaint is the abrupt manner in which the book ends, providing the epilogue isn't taken into account. Because of the wonderful way it is written to evoke emotion where most historical reads are very dry, even those not interested in Russian history can find pleasure in this book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2012

    Highly recommended --- fantastic .. a must read.

    This is essentially a true story about two people and their love .. for each other, family, country and god; their inability to rule wisely and the resulting disaster of the fall of their Imperial government with the background of the WWII. This is history told in flesh and blood. Robert Massie has written another masterpiece.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2011

    Incredible story

    I bought this book because I enjoy reading about world history but realized that what I knew of Russia was only in relation to the United States.
    This book brought life to this extremely important time in world history but more than facts gave me the human aspect and reasons that so many history books lack.
    It is a terrible story and so many decisions were made based on emotions rather than the greater good of the nation but as a parent I cannot fault a mother for putting the well being of her child before any and everything...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2010

    One of the Better Books

    Nicholas and Alexandra is the fascinating story of the last royal family of Russia, the Romanovs. Massie takes you from the childhood of Nicholas and Alexandra all the way to their tragic deaths. You see the deceitful relationship between Rasputin and Alexandra and also the motherly love of Alexandra. This book reads like a piece of fiction that Massie just dreamed up one day. Yet, all at once, it shows you the reality of this mysterious time period, both good and bad. Massie makes you feel as though you truly are sitting in the same room as the characters and that their life becomes yours. I did feel though, that at some points the details of World War I and the council men became a little bit too deep and complex to follow without knowing a great deal about Russian history and World War I. To me the map seemed a little bit incomplete of the exactly where the war cities and other important cities were and but it might have been an error on my part. I loved how when you are at first reading the book, Massie makes Alexandra out to be some cold and hard woman but then once you reflect you realize that the love she had for her son, her husband, and her country was intense. With other books on this subject, some of the information isn't necessarily 100% accurate but with the citations in the back of the book there was no debate that everything was true. Massie squashed all of the rumors about the Romanov children's death, Rasputin's death; his relationship with Alexandra, etc. This book also makes you think about life and the value that it holds. With Alexis' condition you realize how much you take simple things for granted, to me that was one of the most valuable parts of the book. One of the major themes of the book was trust and mistrust. Nicholas completely trusted Alexandra and Alexandra trusted her son's wellbeing with Rasputin. However, this trust was definitely wrongly placed in Rasputin. Some of Nicholas' most trusted officials had tried to cue him in and yet he still didn't believe in them which was a fatal decision. Overall, I would say that this book was very good and possibly one of the best I've read and it completely exceeded my expectations.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    bookworm09

    LoVed it!!!!! This book was really interesting. It was like reading a novel. If you're interested about the romanovs i would highly reccommend u read this book it gives specific details about the last tsar of russia and his family!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2004

    The best of the Romanovs and then some!

    This was perhaps the best book I have read on the Romanovs. I read it over 30 years ago, and have recently reread it. The problem at that time in around 1972 is that the print was so very small that it would be easy to put it down by just looking at the print. However, I pushed on, and it was a very educational experience. Lorrie

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2001

    Informative, highly readable book

    I found this book remarkably well researched and well written. Massie satisfies every time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2001

    Robert K. Massie

    I read this book when I was 14 just for fun, it is wonderfully written and gives you tons of information about what was going on with the last royal family of Russia

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2000

    Superb Account of End of Romanov Era

    Robert Massie's account of the end of the Romanov era is thoroughly engrossing and completely fascinating. I would highly recommend it to both general readers and history buffs.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 11, 2013

    This was such an amazing book.  It was so surreal to learn so mu

    This was such an amazing book.  It was so surreal to learn so much about the family.  The hardships, the passion and the tragedy they went through that people never knew about. If you are at all interested in history this book will certainly not disappoint.  I'm now reading Peter the Great by Robert Massie and so far I love and can't wait to read The Romanovs after.    

     

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  • Posted January 18, 2013

    Couldn't put the book down

    I recently read his other book, Catherine the Great, and enjoyed it very much so I decided to read Nicholas and Alexandra. What an amazing book. You feel as though you are reading a non-fiction novel written by a great author rather than a historical biography. Massie has the ability to keep one's interest and make one want to continue reading, even though the reader already knows the end of the story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    Great book

    Just...just read it.

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  • Posted November 28, 2012

    A sad story, well told and extremely engaging

    After reading Catherine the Great by the same author, I got interested in Russian history – as long as it’s well written and accessible. So, I bought this book (written in 1967) and two others by the same author. I have read quite a bit about World War I; Russia’s revolution and the murders of the Tsar and his family were covered briefly. This book, Nicholas & Alexandria, tells their stories in detail. And what a story it is! Of course, the story is sad start to finish, with readers knowing how tragically their lives ended. Mr. Massie goes into great depth about the influence of the “mystic” Gregory Rasputin over Alexandra and how his guidance – especially his belief that the Russian people somehow “needed” autocracy in order to be governed -- pushed her (and she pushed her husband) into some terrible decisions that probably spelled their doom. And it’s easy to see why Alexandra became such a hated figure in Russia. Still it’s a sad story, but well told and extremely engaging. I found it quite interesting that Nicholas’s and Alexandra’s letters to each other, which are quoted extensively, were actually written in English

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