Buy Used
$3.82
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: :
Comment: Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, and may not include cd-rom or access codes. Customer service is our top priority!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Angel of Vengeance: The "Girl Assassin," the Governor of St. Petersburg, and Russia's Revolutionary World Hardcover – March 18, 2008


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$8.63 $3.82

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (March 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312363990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312363994
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #679,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Siljak presents a history of Vera Zasulich...in an engaging, fluid style. Readers receive a full portrait of a woman who wanted nothing more than to become a martyr for her cause but instead became a national symbol and celebrity, praised by members of all social classes in Russia and known worldwide."--Library Journal

"Angel of Vengeance has tremendous narrative drive, combined with an epic, Tolstoyan scope....Pre-revolutionary Russia's contradictions, its freedoms and constraints, are superbly drawn. Such deftness is rare in an academic historian. So too is the author's sense of humour. Angel of Vengeance is a very good book."--Globe and Mail

“This is a terrific book, retracing the tragic and contradictory course of nineteenth-century Populism through the life-story of Russia's first female assassin, Vera Zasulich. Siljak's fluent narrative lives and breathes the passions and the painful contradictions of Russian life. Zasulich, born into the conscience-stricken gentry, was, like so many terrorists through the ages, an outsider who grew up keen to fulfill her calling as a martyr. But a bullet that went astray and an extraordinary trial turned her involuntarily into a national heroine. Besides winning hearts and minds in her country, Zasulich's case helped spark a wave of terrorism abroad, awakening the interest of writers like Henry James and the young Oscar Wilde.”--Lesley Chamberlain, author of Lenin’s Private War and Nietzsche in Turin

About the Author

ANA SILJAK is a professor of history at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.  She received her Ph.D. in Russian History from Harvard University, and specializes in the subjects of pre-Revolutionary Russia and the history of terrorism.  She lives in Kingston with her husband and two children.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
6
4 star
2
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 9 customer reviews
For anyone interested in biographical works, the book is indispensable.
telephonesnow
This book is an absolute gem, impeccably researched, engagingly written with a narrative style that reflects the tensions and drama of her subject matter.
John R. Bruning
It goes into great depth explanation the motives and history of socialist-terrorist groups in late Tsarist Russia.
ben-Yohanan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Patricia J. Collins on April 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I recently finished reading Angel of Vengeance by Ana Siljak. The story was rich with vivid descriptions of the life of the Russian people, those oppressed, the privileged, and those who endeavored to change the status quo. In light of events in the world today, I was intrigued with the background given on the various radical groups that attempted to engage the peasants to overthrow the government. Intertwined with all of this is the fascinating personal story of a young woman. The journey documented in the book of Vera Zasulich's internal outrage toward public officials, the validation of her feelings gleaned from her veracious readings of radical publications and her interactions with infamous terrorists, to her decision to act on her own and assassinate the governor is a winning combination. The unintended consequences of her actions extend the story to show us the impact she had on the world and individuals already familiar to us such as Oscar Wilde. This book is educational, thought provoking and very entertaining.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ben-Yohanan on June 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I must say, this book is a rare gem. It goes into great depth explanation the motives and history of socialist-terrorist groups in late Tsarist Russia. It is not merely a bio of Vera Zasulich, but is also a comprehensive and readable history of the revolutionary movements, and how they developed.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul E. Richardson VINE VOICE on October 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
One could draw up a very long list of the ways Russia has influenced the world - artistically, politically, economically, militarily. Somewhere on that list, likely buried halfway down, hiding in shame, would be "political terrorism."

Russia did not invent terrorism. That "distinction" traces back at least to the Jacobin Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. But Russian anarchists and revolutionaries, impatient with the pace of reform in Tsarist Russia, employed new, easily portable technology (handguns, bombs secreted on their person) to assassinate political leaders in hopes of inciting revolution or in retribution for "crimes against society." They initiated the idea that one could carry out murder for a "greater good."

It was revenge for the brutal beating of a prisoner that seems to have driven Vera Zasulich, a shy, distraught noblewoman, to shoot the governor of St. Petersburg in 1878. Her trial and subsequent acquittal, alongside her transformation into an "avenging angel" on behalf of socialism, helped place terrorism on Russia's political menu. Three years later, Tsar Alexander II was blown up by one of the world's first suicide bombers.

Siljak uses the Zasulich case (offering plenty of useful backstory) to paint a vivid portrait of Russia in the second half of the 19th century, when no side in the political debates seemed to understand or tolerate the other, when lines were being drawn for a civil war that would break out three decades on. Rich with first-person accounts and well-placed citations from literature, this is far more than the account of the trial which forms its narrative core. For what Siljak wants to get at is what motivated terrorists like Zasulich - how love for one's fellow humans can lead one to kill. (Reviewed in Russian Life)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John R. Bruning on April 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Ana Siljak's "Angel of Vengeance" is proof positive that every once in awhile, an extraordinarily talented academic historian can breathe life into a long-dead era and make it accessible to an audience far broader than his or her professional peers. This book is an absolute gem, impeccably researched, engagingly written with a narrative style that reflects the tensions and drama of her subject matter. The book chronicles the first act in the "Age of Assassinations," when an aristocratic woman with revolutionary sentiments killed the governor of St. Petersburg with a revolver she'd concealed under her clothing. Her subsequent trial became a spectacle, the pre-revolutionary Russian equivalent of the Lindberg trial of the 1930's. The assassination and trial became one of the keystone moments that fueled the revolutionary fever which ultimately toppled the Tzar's regime a few decades later.

Siljak has done an outstanding job of blending craft and research into a highly readable, fascinating snapshot of late-nineteenth century Russia. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

[...]
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover
I have read a lot of Russian revolutionary history, but no other book that comes close to this one in supplying profound insight into the "to the people" movement of the late 19th century that set the stage for Russia's 1905 and 1917 upheavals. Particularly lucid are the explanations of the roles of a few extremely influential 19th century writers in steering the movement. My interest piqued, I am reading Chernyshevshy's "What Is To Be Done" [...] now. Historians too often cite these works in passing, without explaining just what messages were conveyed, and precisely why they so impressed young Russians. The tragic end of the movement, in a campaign of assassination and terrorism, and one generation later Leninism, makes its history highly relevant still. The subject matter is serious and in large part philosophical. Yet Siljak's account is written in an engaging style, replete with interesting anecdotes, and the way she keeps the focus on Vera Zasulich and a few of her contemporaries as living, breathing people (who were, for the most part, in their way, well-intentioned) makes for a fun read. A film adaptation would not be difficult!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?