Rasputin: The Untold Story

Overview

Based on new sources—the definitive biography of Rasputin, with revelations about his life, death, and involvement with the Romanovs

A century after his death, Grigory Rasputin remains fascinating: the Russian peasant with hypnotic eyes who befriended Tsar Nicholas II and helped destroy the Russian Empire, but the truth about his strange life has never fully been told. Written by the world's leading authority on Rasputin, this new biography draws on previously closed Soviet ...

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Overview

Based on new sources—the definitive biography of Rasputin, with revelations about his life, death, and involvement with the Romanovs

A century after his death, Grigory Rasputin remains fascinating: the Russian peasant with hypnotic eyes who befriended Tsar Nicholas II and helped destroy the Russian Empire, but the truth about his strange life has never fully been told. Written by the world's leading authority on Rasputin, this new biography draws on previously closed Soviet archives to offer new information on Rasputin's relationship with Empress Alexandra, sensational revelations about his sexual conquests, a re-examination of his murder, and more.

  • Based on long-closed Soviet archives and the author's decades of research, encompassing sources ranging from baptismal records and forgotten police reports to notes written by Rasputin and personal letters
  • Reveals new information on Rasputin's family history and strange early life, religious beliefs, and multitudinous sexual adventures as well as his relationship with Empress Alexandra, ability to heal the haemophiliac tsarevich, and more
  • Includes many previously unpublished photos, including contemporary studio photographs of Rasputin and samples of his handwriting
  • Written by historian Joesph T. Fuhrmann, a Rasputin expert whose 1990 biography Rasputin: A Life was widely praised as the best on the subject

Synthesizing archival sources with published documents, memoirs, and other studies of Rasputin into a single, comprehensive work, Rasputin: The Untold Story will correct a century's worth of misconception and error about the life and death of the famous Siberian mystic and healer and the decline and fall of Imperial Russia.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Using material from newly opened Soviet archives, particularly the correspondence of Czar Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra, Fuhrmann, an emeritus professor of history at Murray State University in Kentucky, extends the range of his Rasputin: A Life (1990). He shows how an obscure Russian Orthodox monk became a close adviser to the czar and czarina, particularly after he predicted the recovery of their son, Alexis, from a possibly fatal illness in 1909. Alexandra turned to him for advice on Russia’s WWI military campaign, and he influenced the appointment of high officials. This outsize influence, and rumors that Rasputin was pro-German, impelled a cabal of members of the nobility to assassinate him in December 1916. Fuhrman provides graphic details of the murder and weighs the evidence that the British Secret Intelligence Service participated in the plot. Fuhrmann draws a complex portrait of a dissolute alcoholic figure who allegedly raped at least one woman, yet he was seen by his many followers as a starets (charismatic holy man). Fuhrmann does not provide a final appraisal of Rasputin’s significance in the immediate prerevolution period. Still, this vivid, briskly written biography brings to life one of the most colorful and sinister figures in modern Russian history. Illus. Agent: Andrew Lownie, Andrew Lownie Literary Agency. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
* Using material from newly opened Soviet archives, particularly the correspondence of Czar Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra, Fuhrmann, an emeritus professor of history at Murray State University in Kentucky, extends the range of his Rasputin: A Life (1990). He shows how an obscure Russian Orthodox monk became a close adviser to the czar and czarina, particularly after he predicted the recovery of their son, Alexis, from a possibly fatal illness in 1909. Alexandra turned to him for advice on Russia’s WWI military campaign, and he influenced the appointment of high officials. This outsize influence, and rumors that Rasputin was pro-German, impelled a cabal of members of the nobility to assassinate him in December 1916. Fuhrman provides graphic details of the murder and weighs the evidence that the British Secret Intelligence Service participated in the plot. Fuhrmann draws a complex portrait of a dissolute alcoholic figure who allegedly raped at least one woman, yet he was seen by his many followers as a starets (charismatic holy man). Fuhrmann does not provide a final appraisal of Rasputin’s significance in the immediate prerevolution period. Still, this vivid, briskly written biography brings to life one of the most colorful and sinister figures in modern Russian history. Illus. Agent: Andrew Lownie, Andrew Lownie Literary Agency. (Nov.) (Publishers Weekly, August 2012)
Library Journal
Previous studies of the Svengali-like Rasputin could not have benefitted from recently released archival information that had been sealed during the Soviet era. Fuhrmann (history, Murray State Univ.; Rasputin: A Life) adds this newly available material to previous scholarship and presents the whole as the definitive biography. His work answers the questions of how an uneducated, Siberian-born peasant, Grigory Efimovich Rasputin (1869–1916), became the closest confidante to Tsar Nicholas II and the tsarina, Alexandra, and what brought about his decline and eventual murder. Fuhrmann offers new facts about Rasputin's life from birth to death: how he inserted himself into Russian high society and the truth of his drunken debauchery and sexual addiction. Was he mystic, charlatan, or simply an opportunist? Fuhrman reveals his subject from all sides: husband, father, confidante, wily adviser, carouser, even kind-hearted paternal figure. VERDICT Looming, mysterious Rasputin has fascinated historians and Russian history enthusiasts ever since the final years of the Romanov dynasty. Wide-ranging in scope, this accessible book utilizes trustworthy sources and makes occasional use of plausible conjecture. Highly recommended for both Russian history scholars and readers with a general interest in the topic.—Lisa Guidarini, Algonquin P.L., IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118172766
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 11/6/2012
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 337,827
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

JOSEPH T. FUHRMANN, Emeritus Professor of History at Murray State University in Kentucky, received his PhD from Indiana University, one of the leading centers for Russian studies. He attended Moscow University from 1965 to 1966. His first biography of Rasputin, Rasputin: A Life, was regarded as the best book on the subject. Since gaining access to previously closed Soviet archives, he has worked from 1991 in Russian repositories and studied a host of unpublished documents. The first biography inspired documentaries on A&E and the History Channel. He has appeared in three programs as an interviewed guest and as script consultant for two of them.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xv

Cast of Principal Characters, Places, and Terms xix

Prologue 1

1 The Outsider 3

2 Seeker and Teacher 15

3 Nicholas and Alexandra: Waiting for a Friend 31

4 The New Rasputin 39

5 The Church Strikes Back 49

6 The Romanovs’ Holy Fool 57

7 The Captain’s Mysterious Report 67

8 Black Boars Become Bishops 77

9 “You Are Our All” 87

10 “God Has Heard Your Prayers!” 97

11 Spiritual Crisis 107

12 The Woman with the Missing Nose 117

13 Disaster Lurks in Moscow 131

14 The Tsar Takes Charge and Loses Control 143

15 Rasputin Conquers the Russian State 155

16 The Church at the Feet of a “Low Hound” 167

17 “Our Friend’s Ideas about Men Are Sometimes Queer” 177

18 Shadows Come at Twilight 185

19 The Assassin 197

20 Murder at the Palace 207

21 The Aftermath 215

22 Who Really Killed Rasputin? 225

E pilogue 233

Notes 241

Bibliography 263

Photo Credits 271

Index 273

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