Peter the Great: His Life and World

Peter the Great: His Life and World

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by Robert K. Massie
     
 

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Against the monumental canvas of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe and Russia unfolds the magnificent story of Peter the Great, crowned co-tsar at the age of ten. The acclaimed author of Catherine the Great, Robert K. Massie delves deep into the life of this captivating historical figure, chronicling the pivotal events that shaped a boy into a

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Overview

Against the monumental canvas of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe and Russia unfolds the magnificent story of Peter the Great, crowned co-tsar at the age of ten. The acclaimed author of Catherine the Great, Robert K. Massie delves deep into the life of this captivating historical figure, chronicling the pivotal events that shaped a boy into a legend—including his “incognito” travels in Europe, his unquenchable curiosity about Western ways, his obsession with the sea and establishment of the stupendous Russian navy, his creation of an unbeatable army, his transformation of Russia, and his relationships with those he loved most: Catherine, the robust yet gentle peasant, his loving mistress, wife, and successor; and Menshikov, the charming, bold, unscrupulous prince who rose to wealth and power through Peter’s friendship. Impetuous and stubborn, generous and cruel, tender and unforgiving, a man of enormous energy and complexity, Peter the Great is brought fully to life.
 
The Modern Library of the World’s Best Books
 
These Robert K. Massie books are available in Modern Library editions
 
Peter the Great
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
 
“Enthralling . . . as fascinating as any novel and more so than most.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
Nicholas and Alexandra
 
“A magnificent and intimate picture . . . Not only the main characters but a whole era become alive and comprehensible.”—Harper’s
 
The Romanovs
 
“Riveting . . . unfolds like a detective story.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Enthralling . . . as fascinating as any novel and more so than most.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Urgently readable . . . the work of a master of narrative history.”—Newsweek

“Written in a style that combines vigor, clarity, and sensitivity . . . should be the envy of historians and novelists alike.”—Chicago Sun-Times
 
“Fascinating . . . an absorbing book.”—The Plain Dealer
 
“Exceptional.”—The New Yorker

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679645603
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/18/2012
Pages:
1136
Sales rank:
176,640
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.10(h) x 2.30(d)

Meet the Author

Robert K. Massie was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and studied American history at Yale and European history at Oxford, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. He was president of the Authors Guild from 1987 to 1991. His books include Nicholas and Alexandra, Peter the Great: His Life and World (for which he won a Pulitzer Prize for biography), The Romanovs: The Final Chapter, Dreadnought: Britain, Germany, and the Coming of the Great War, Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea, and Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman.

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Peter the Great 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This volume is simply one of the very best, most exciting, interesting, and highly charged biographies I have read. Fortunately for me, a pending visit to Saint Petersburg provided me with the motivation to pull this twenty four-year-old 1st Edition copy from my bookshelf. Its 850 pages had seemed a daunting task no matter how many people had recommended this as a ¿must read¿. Robert Massie has created a masterpiece of story telling. Each chapter is the equivalent of a short story and compelling in it¿s own right. And each is presented with an introduction that places you, the reader, in context. Massie also places you both in Peter the Great's time but populates his world with many other sovereigns and characters of interesting historical note. Most notably a large part of the book is devoted to King Charles XII of Sweden. Upon completion of this wonderful book I had a much better understanding of Russia, the Baltic States history and the origins of may Russian cultural traits. Peter the Great was a massive personality who¿s impact was both awful for those he ruled and passed judgement on, and visionary for pushing Russia into a modern and westernized nation. Overall, the book reads like an epic Russian Novel, deep in character study, action, adventure, and compelling social observation. Massie is just an excellent writer. I highly recommend this book as others have recommended it to me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Massie is so gifted at illuminating Russia under Peter the Great's reign, that it reads more like a novel than an historical study-I could barely put it down. This is truly an extraordinary book!
griffin721 More than 1 year ago
A great read. It puts you in the time frame of history. Loved it
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great book, a captivating and quick read (despite the length) that takes you inside the life of Peter the Great in an epic story of love and betrayal, poverty and largess, greed and blind ambition.
Joyce3635 More than 1 year ago
Don't let the length of the book scare you. Peter was a bigger than life character and needs a very long book to tell his story. I read this 25 years ago and still remember parts of the book because he was such a unique character. Robert Massie has really done his homework in studying Russiasn history.
cato More than 1 year ago
This book was a great read and offered a mini history of his lifespan in Europe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i never intended to read this book. i started borwsing it one day at a book store and the next thing i knew i couldnt put it down. its a great read. other reviewers were right when they said that it reads more like a novel than a work of non-fiction. someone really should sit down and update it though. the repeated referrences to "soviets" date the book in a way that the rest of the text does not.
MerleF More than 1 year ago
Although I read this book 30 years after its original publication, and just after having read Massie's CATHERINE THE GREAT, I cannot praise PETER THE GREAT highly enough! As a long-ago college history major i learned and re-learned so much from this excellent book. I particularly enjoyed and appreciated Massie's side excursions into the personal and dynastic histories of William of Orange, Louis XIV, Frederick the Great, and Charles XII of Sweden. Massie makes Russia in the early 18th Centuiry COME ALIVE, with all its promises and problems!
MGL11 More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended. Mr. Massie does a masterful job of tackling Russian History -- often perceived as an impermeable monolith -- and converting it into a piece of work that almost resembles a novel (albeit a rather long novel). He peppers 17th and 18th century Russian and European history with just the right amount of historical backdrop -- both political and incestuous -- while staying devoted to his subject matter. He also provides pre-17th century Russian history, but only for historical reference, never for showboating purposes. I was incredibly pleased to see the manner in which Mr. Massie wove Peter into the very fabric of European affairs at the time. I feel like I learned something new on almost every page. True, this may stem from the dearth of my Russian history knowledge prior to reading this book. Nevertheless, I would suggest that many people choosing this book may be similarly situated. The fact that this book was written during the Coldwar also adds some color to Mr. Massie's delivery. Any fan of history and/or biography should seek this book out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Incredible!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book i've read in decades. A page turner. Better than fiction. All his books are excellent. This was my favorite folllwed by Catherine the Great . Plse note. Book is 1000 pages. I devoured book about a week!i
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Robert K Massie excels at every thing he sets his pen to. This is no exception!
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