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The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II [Kindle Edition]

Edvard Radzinsky
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $20.00
Kindle Price: $12.79
You Save: $7.21 (36%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Russian playwright and historian Radzinsky mines  sources never before available to create a  fascinating portrait of the monarch, and a  minute-by-minute account of his terrifying last days.  Updated For The Paperback Edition.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This valuable new account of the murder of Czar Nicholas II and his family contradicts the official Soviet version, in which Siberian Bolsheviks ordered the executions without Moscow's clearance. Photos.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A prominent Russian playwright has turned his talents to historical investigation and produced an account containing intriguing new details for the Western reader and revelations for the previously uninformed citizenry of the former Soviet Union. Long fascinated by the death of Nicholas II, his wife, and his children, Radzinsky gained access to long-closed national archives containing state documents, diaries of the tsar and his family, and eyewitness accounts. To the well-known fact that the Bolsheviks who held the royal family executed them hastily out of fear that advancing White forces might recover the tsar, Radzinsky adds documentation of Lenin's approval of the local Reds' actions and full descriptions (from participant accounts) of the killings and disposal of the bodies. He also introduces evidence suggesting that two of the Romanovs survived. Early chapters are routine, and a trained historian might have handled the material differently, but this book will attract attention. For most collections.
- Rena Fowler, Northern Michigan Univ. Lib., Marquette
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 6055 KB
  • Print Length: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (March 30, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003F3PLF8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #419,356 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
(68)
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
85 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Russian's view October 31, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I am Russian and my family background is not peasant at all, so I have been always interested in Romanov's history and sympathized with Tsar before I had red the book. The book has only strengthened the feelings of sympathy and sorrow I feel for the last Russian Tsar.
The reviews I have red above are obviously written by Western readers, who have studied the Russian history but don't possess the Russian mentality, so doesn't see the role of personalities in Russian politics, the place of religion the same way Russians do. Perhaps, because of that, in my opinion, they are missing the main point. It is not a political pamphlet or historical textbook. It is an account of one family's life. In the book by Radzinsky Tsar is shown as a person - a boy, a young men in love, a father, a husband, a prisoner, and only lastly - a ruler & politician. When Radzinsky looks at the Romanovs he looks at them as a family - that's my understanding. So in brief I would describe this book as "A story of a family".
Probably as a Russian (and I hope not Soviet) I can feel some things about the book as an insider and will try to express it. It is very important to understand how religious were both Nicolay and Alexandra and how it all fits in the scheme of his somewhat fatalistic approach to his rule, to Rasputin, to war and revolutions. I can see how shy, naïve and kind young men has to take over a rule in one-sixth of the Globe and it is no easy task, never has been. Radzinsky shows clearly that Nicolas was kept ill-informed and hence some of the worst mistakes he made in politics.
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST BOOK EVER ON THE LIFE AND DEATH OF NICHOLAS II February 19, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This very factual and well-written book is, in my opinion, the very best on the life and death of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. Replete with both historical and familial details, it reads like a well-plotted, well-characterized fiction novel. The book, however, is all the more horrifying and heartbreaking because it is true. Unlike some of the previous reviewers, I enjoyed Radzinsky's writing style and consider him to be the ultimate authority on all matters Romanov. The only book more factual may be Nicholas and Alexandra, A Lifelong Passion which consists solely of the family's letters. The Last Tsar is definitely a must read for those interested in Romanov Russia and a book that will be enjoyable to all.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Look at a Dark Deed and Its Aftermath November 29, 2001
Format:Paperback
Although I've studied Russian history, I have never been that fascinated by Nicholas II. However, I got this book as a gift and found it quite interesting.
What makes this book special is not so much Radzinsky's account of Nicholas' last days but his access to Communist archives that let him reconstruct how and why the Bolshevik leadership decided on killing Nicholas as they did. (Apparently this was done to thwart Trotsky, who wanted a public trial of Nicholas with himself as prosecutor.)
Also fascinating is Radzinsky's account of the subsequent careers of Nicholas' murderers, how they became minor league Communist celebrities, telling Komsomol (youth group) assemblies how they had shot the Tsar. This went on until Stalin decided they had become drunken embarassments and kept them out of the public eye.
So I would say if you want a book that looks at the last days of Nicholas from a broader perspective, this is the book to get.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our Bitter, Bitter Revolution March 30, 2008
By Kendra
Format:Paperback
A man is sitting at a book-covered table in the Central State Archive of the October (1917) Revolution in Moscow. The surviving diaries of the last imperial family of Russia are there, unclassified at last. Reading them, his thoughts carrying him back and forth in time, the man is moved when he finds pressed flowers in the journals of the tsar's daughters: "Souvenirs of a destroyed life".

Edvard Radzinsky is that haunted man, sitting at a table strewn with memories of a broken dynasty. "The Last Tsar" is the product of his research and his sadness. A playwright, Raszinsky is well-qualified to explore the human depths of the lives of Tsar Nicholas II, his family, and the others who were part of their doomed world.

The book gained a great deal of publicity when it was first released here for its sensational assertion that two of the family may have escaped execution on that terrible night in 1918. And this work of popular history merits the attention. This book is likely to become the definitive work on the last years of Tsar Nicholas II and his family.

Rarely is a work of history so beautifully written, so thoroughly researched, and so permeated with emotion and insight. A great debt is owed to the translator for her lyrical and poetic voice while retaining a sense of historical authority.

Radzinsky's attitudes and feelings are juxtaposed with those of the two main characters of the story-- Tsar Nicholas and his queen, Alexandra. The inclusion of the author's feelings is unorthodox in a historical work however, in this case, it's a success and it offers a perspective that is both personal and realistic.

The tone of the book is conversational rather than scholarly.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Very good history. BUT, language is so 'correct' that it is hard to read.
Published 5 days ago by Daniel Leonard
4.0 out of 5 stars Author seeks to discover the truth
Not only is this book a biography of Nicholas, it is the author’s own experience of uncovering previously classified Russian archives. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Julie Merilatt
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Was ok - have read better books on subject.
Published 1 month ago by Alice a Wright
1.0 out of 5 stars A Confusing Read - Think I "Needed" Something More Elementary & Linear
Having recently read the author's book about Stalin, and found it very enjoyable/educational, I was anticipating having a similarly positive experience with this book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by lplynn
3.0 out of 5 stars She felt she was the smart one, but she's the one that basically...
The book concentrates too much on the names of all persons involved, even minor people and bounces back and forth in time which can be confusing at times; where you have to stop... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Deidre D. Miazga
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing Read
Published 3 months ago by Theodore
4.0 out of 5 stars TRANSITION INTO DARKNESS.
radzinsky is a great information gatherer., he gets information and inside knowledge as well as any biographer i've ever read... Read more
Published 3 months ago by BILL
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard to read.
Well, I need to start with this. I haven't been able to get past the first chapter and I've had this book for a while. Reviews said it was an easy read. NOT! Read more
Published 6 months ago by P. Moon
4.0 out of 5 stars Throw away massie and get Radzinsky. A must have for history buffs.
If you are a history buff, especially for the Russian revolution, this book needs to be on your shelf. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Kevin Frodahl
5.0 out of 5 stars A bad dream for a nightmare.
A resounding, yes. The book met all my expectations. Very well written, especially the excepts from the Tsar and his wife's diaries. Read more
Published 8 months ago by JLE
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