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Nicholas and Alexandra Paperback – February 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (February 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345438310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345438317
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (392 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A larger-than-life drama.”—Saturday Review

“A moving, rich book . . . [This] revealing, densely documented account of the last Romanovs focuses not on the great events . . . but on the royal family and their evil nemesis. . . . The tale is so bizarre, no melodrama is equal to it.”—Newsweek

“A wonderfully rich tapestry, the colors fresh and clear, every strand sewn in with a sure hand. Mr. Massie describes those strange and terrible years with sympathy and understanding. . . . They come vividly before our eyes.”—The New York Times
 
“An all-too-human picture . . . Both Nicholas and Alexandra with all their failings come truly alive, as does their almost storybook romance.”—Newsday
 
“A magnificent and intimate picture . . . Not only the main characters but a whole era become alive and comprehensible.”—Harper’s

About 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.

More About the Author

Robert Massie is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, Dreadnought and The Romanovs: The Final Chapter. He lives in Irvington, New York.

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Customer Reviews

Robert Massie's book is excellently written.
Randyll McDermott
The story of Nicholas and Alexandra the last Tsar And Tsarina of Russia is one of the most Tragic love stories the world has ever known.
Shane Smith
Absorbingly written, this love story is one I will not soon forget.
Bookworm in Houston

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

162 of 168 people found the following review helpful By mirope on April 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is generally considered to be the definitive biography of Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra. Massie's expert storytelling is well-suited to the compelling story of the last Russian tsar and his consort. The history of Russia was no doubt changed by the deliberate myopia and general inadquacies of these two people. Nevertheless, Massie manages to uncover a more sympathetic side to the ill-fated duo. Massie's writing is as good as that of any acclaimed novelist - there's a fascinating and fastpaced plot, finely nuanced lead characters, an intriguing supporting cast, all against a beautiful background of a majestic bygone era.
This book was researched and written before the fall of the Soviet empire when the state archives were opened and new information about the Romanovs was revealed. Consequently, this book is necessarily incomplete, especially as concerns the execution of the royal family. Massie has since written another text called "The Romanovs: The Last Chapter" which devels deeply into the newly available data and the forensic studies that followed. Consider it an essential volume II to "Nicholas and Alexandra".
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109 of 115 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia K. Robertson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
I started a love affair with European royalty while in junior high, and as luck or fate would have it, Robert Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra was published during this time. I was bitten by the Romanov bug and have suffered from this malady ever since.

Nicholas and Alexandra, the last Tsar and Tsarina of Imperial Russia, came from a distinguished royal pedigree. Nicholas was the son of Tsar Alexander III, and his aunt was Princess Alexandra of Wales. Alexandra was a Hessian princess and granddaughter of Queen Victoria. As youngsters, they fell in love and "Nicky" knew that "Alix" was fated to be his bride. Theirs was a true love match at a time when royal marriages were arranged for any reason but love.

Two events conspired to cause the Romanov tragedy. First, Nicholas was not a very strong-willed man. He let others dominate him (including his wife). When his father died suddenly at the age of 49, the young Nicholas was totally unprepared and untrained to be Ruler of all the Russia's. Second, Nicholas and Alexandra were very family oriented, and it was a crushing blow when their 5th child and only son was born with hemophilia. In desperation, they alienated much of Russia (to protect this secret) and fell under the harmful influence of Rasputin. Russia was ripe for revolution, and Nicholas and Alexandra were too blind to see what was happening in their own country until it was too late.

Massie does a stellar job of bringing Russian history to life in a way that reads like a novel. He also writes with a passion born of experience. When his son was born with hemophilia, Massie started researching how hemophilia affected the royal houses of Europe-especially the Romanov's.
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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Massie's work is very readable; more like a novel than a biography. There were times I couldn't believe some of the intimate details could be real, for how would Massie know? But at the back of the book he has extensive notes indicating the sources for all the details including diaries and memoirs. I thought Massie did an excellent job illustrating the roots of World War I, especially the relationship between Nicholas and Kaiser William II. Also excellent was the way he makes the enigma of Rasputin understandable and how he reconciles the public disfavor and lack of understanding of the tsar and his wife with their noble intentions with the good of Russia in mind. In reading history it is easy to imagine that the participants were ignorant or oblivious to larger trends that would envelop them, especially in light of subsequent historical events. Massie's story brilliantly sheds light on the story of the last tsar such that the reader can genuinely understand the motivations of most of the participants. Very enlightening reading. I strongly recommend the book for anyone interested in Russian history or just looking for a readable story.
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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Countess Chocula on November 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
It goes against all of my instincts to give any Jude Devereaux book a less-than-stellar review, but I just can't recommend this book for the purpose it pretends to have.
This is not a romantic book, at least not in the traditional man-woman way. The storyline is enjoyable enough - an intelligent, attractive woman who is clearly ahead of her time meets a cranky, handsome man, who is clearly behind the times. As a story of personal growth, the book works. Temperence learns that in order to give, you have to take a little; James learns...well, I'm really not sure what James learned. He seems strangely dishonorable, disdainful and a whole lot of other "dis"-es I can't come up with right now. This is a book about Temperance and her journey, and James is almost an afterthought, more of a plot device to move Temperance along than anything else. I've rarely read a book where I wasn't remotely interested in the main male character, but this has the dubious distinction of being the most memorable example of that so far.
I could count on one hand the romantic or intimate scenes between the two characters, and even those felt stilted and awkward. Temperence and James would make good friends (or heaven forbid, brother and sister), but lovers? Not that I could see. After reading the book twice, I still don't have a clue why either of them are supposedly attracted to the other. There was no build-up, no feeling that these two had any passion for each other. When they do get together, it's forgettable (apparently for them too), uncomfortable and unsettling and James is insulting. It just felt wrong, for reasons I can't articulate.
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