The Last of the Tsars: Nicholas II and the Russia Revolution by Robert Service
A riveting account of the last eighteen months of Tsar Nicholas II's life and reign from one of the finest Russian historians writing today.In March 1917, Nicholas II, the last Tsar of All the Russias, abdicated and the dynasty that had ruled an empire for three hundred years was forced from power by revolution. Now, on the hundredth anniversary of that revolution, Robert Service, the eminent historian of Russia, examines Nicholas's life and thought from the months before his momentous abdication to his death, with his family, in Ekaterinburg in July 1918.
The story has been told many times, but Service's deep understanding of the period and his forensic examination of previously untapped sources, including the Tsar's diaries and recorded conversations, as well as the testimonies of the official inquiry, shed remarkable new light on his troubled reign, also revealing the kind of Russia that Nicholas wanted to emerge from the Great War.
The Last of the Tsars is a masterful study of a man who was almost entirely out of his depth, perhaps even willfully so. It is also a compelling account of the social, economic and political ferment in Russia that followed the February Revolution, the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917 and the beginnings of Lenin's Soviet socialist republic.
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About the Author
Robert Service is the author of twelve books, including The End of the Cold War; Spies and Commissars; the acclaimed Lenin: A Biography; Stalin: A Biography; and Comrades: A History of World Communism. He is currently a professor of Russian history at the University of Oxford, a Fellow of St. Antony's College, Oxford, and a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Last of the Tsars: Nicholas II and the Russia Revolution based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
How the mighty have fallen… My thanks to my contacts at Pegasus Books, Iris Blasi, Katie McGuire, and Maia Larson, for my advance reading copy of this book. You ladies rock! Nicholas Romanov, Tsar Nicholas II, was the last royal ruler of Russia. When he was crowned on November 1, 1894, he could not have foreseen the terrible end that was coming, or that the royal line would end with him. This is the story of the man who lost everything. The reign of Nicholas II was unfortunately marred by a series of bad decisions and worse luck. There was the Khodynka Tragedy, a human stampede after his coronation that caused the deaths of 1,389 people. He had a penchant for executing political rivals. He was blamed for the Russo-Japanese War, which led to his being nicknamed Nicholas the Bloody. He instituted ant-semantic rules to try to force Jews into becoming Russian Orthodox, then the State Religion. On Sunday, January 22, 1905, people trying to bring a petition to Tsar Nicholas were fired upon by the Imperial Guard. This is remembered as “Bloody Sunday.” Along with the Russian people, even the Nobles began to be dissatisfied with the Tsar’s rule. Losses on the battlefields, a food shortage, and the growing influence of Gregory Rasputin did not help the matter at all. The Tsar finally abdicated in 1917 following the Russian Revolution, and his family was placed under house arrest. Still fearing Nicholas and the Romanov dynasty, the Tsar, and his entire family was executed on July 16, 1918. This is the story of the Romanov family. It is very detailed and features seemingly every character the author could squeeze in that was remotely connected to the case. The story was fascinating in places, and at other times it dragged like a broken muffler behind a car. It does succeed in establishing the human side of Tsar Nicholas, but some of the writing could have been omitted without harming the book in the least. I personally had a hard time wading through this book. Historically, it is accurate and thus valuable as insight to these troubled times and the end of an era. I give the book three stars… Quoth the Raven…