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Comment: Anchor Pub. softcover. DARK tanning on pages. Slight curve on spine. 1/4 inch tear, small corner crease, and edge wear on cover edges. Good otherwise. No writing or highlighting.
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The Romanovs: Autocrats of All the Russias Paperback – July 5, 1983


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The Romanovs: Autocrats of All the Russias + Secret Lives of the Tsars: Three Centuries of Autocracy, Debauchery, Betrayal, Murder, and Madness from Romanov Russia
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (July 5, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385279086
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385279086
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #933,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

For three centuries--beginning with the accession of Mikhail Feodorovich Romanov in 1613--the Romanov Dynasty ruled Russia. Its reign ended with the execution of Nicholas II and Alexandra in the early 20th century. Noted Russian scholar W. Bruce Lincoln has brilliantly portrayed the achievement, significance and high drama of the Dynasty as no previous book has done. His use of rare archival materials has allowed him to present a portrait of the Romanovs based on their own writings and those of the men and women who knew them.

From the Inside Flap

For three centuries--beginning with the accession of Mikhail Feodorovich Romanov in 1613--the Romanov Dynasty ruled Russia.  Its reign ended with the execution of Nicholas II and Alexandra in the early 20th century.  Noted Russian scholar W. Bruce Lincoln has brilliantly portrayed the achievement, significance and high drama of the Dynasty as no previous book has done.  His use of rare archival materials has allowed him to present a portrait of the Romanovs based on their own writings and those of the men and women who knew them.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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This was our text book.
Aelfwynn
This book is very thorough and incredible in its vast sweep.
Patrick Walsh
One of the best history books I have read.
D. Larson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on December 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
W. Bruce Lincoln's history of the 300 years of Romanov rule in Russia (1613-1917) is easily his most readable account of Russian history. While Professor Lincoln's research is meticulous as ever, in this volume he has to cover far more ground than in his other more focused histories and thus he avoids some of the digressions that he normally might allow himself. The result is a superb one-volume history of the Tsars and Tsarinas who determined Russia's development from a minor principality into the largest empire on earth.
The Romanovs consists of four parts: Muscovite beginnings (1613-1689), the Rise of an Empire (1689-1796), Empire Triumphant (1796-1894) and the Last Emperor (1894-1917). The first three parts each consist of several chapters, with the first covering biographical details of the Tsars and Tsarinas in that period, followed by chapters on political and cultural changes in that period. There are only two significant problems with what is otherwise a superb presentation: a non-chronological methodology and a lack of a single supporting map of Romanov domains (there are two maps of St Petersburg's layout). In the first case, Lincoln tends to keep coming back to Tsars in subsequent chapters on culture, politics, etc which is very confusing. Indeed, he seems in a rush to plow through the biographies of the Tsars, then revisit their cultural accomplishments, then come back again and discuss their political accomplishments, and then maybe discuss a few scandals or wars. As for the lack of maps, it makes it extremely difficult for the reader to evaluate the territorial expansions of the various Romanov rulers or Russia's growth over three centuries.
Despite these two flaws, the Romanovs is a delightful read for anyone with a scholarly interest in Russian imperial history.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
W. Bruce Lincoln does the best job I've seen so far of covering the ENTIRE Romanov history and that of her mother Russia. From rise to fall no writer could have imagined a greater plot. It was once said "to understand the present you must look to the past". To understand modern day Russia I suggest you look to this book.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a great history of the Romanov dynasty that teeters between biography and the novel. In some places, it is literally a page-turner. It's not as analytical as some historical texts, but Lincoln provides more than enough information to allow the reader to make his/her own decisions. Every detail is perfectly groomed for presentation, and few stones are left unturned. This book is accessible (ie, those with little background in Russian history will find it intriguing and highly readable) and informative. The only complaint I have is that, occassionaly, it jumps around in time in peculiar ways (but this is not something that really causes one to get lost or confused).
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Lincoln opens his book with a candidely written note to the reader explaining the intentions of his book. Quite rightly, he admits that a real account of so vast a subject would take several volumes of this size: instead, he has set out to put concisely and organically the history and biographies of the Romanovs, reflecting his own preferences, prejudices, and feelings. Such a task relies more on the author than the subject: thankfully, Lincoln is the most canny and insightful writers on the subject that I have ever come across. His book is a triumph in every sense; fair, complete, well-researched, and drawing from so many great resources that it seems as though Lincoln has drawn together every rich fountain of knowledge on his subject and made a great pool for every curious mind.
The scope of this book is stunning, but Lincoln's organization brings great coherence. First he details and outlines the lives, the personalities, and the administrations of a certain era of the Romanovs; then, in a series of subchapters, he details the events, the wars, the civil unrest, the art, and the accomplishments of that same period. Doing this, he has managed to collect in one relatively short volume what a myriad of books have tried to capture individually. The writing is fluid and lively: professional and not novelesque, but still managing to draw on the imagination of the reader while conveying clearly a great avalanche of knowledge.
The author does write from his own perspective, but his views are not overbearing, unfair, or masked with selective facts and underhanded reasoning: in short, the author is not trying to sell you to his point of view, and his understanding of the Romanovs is based in pure reasoning, not political bias or ideology.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 16, 1997
Format: Paperback
The entire Eastern section of Europe, extending from its natural geographical eastern boundry-- the Ural mountains--to the next geographical boundry to the west--the Carpathian Mountains in what is now eastern Slavic Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia) and Romania, is one flat space without natural barriers against invasion. As a result, all through history, this land of many different languages and cultures was overrun by invaders--the Vikings, the Swedes, the German/Teutonic Knights and the Monguls.
Early on, in their history, the inhabitants of this flat plain learned that a strong cntral authority was their only defense against foregn invasion and plunder. The establishment of Tsar of all the Russias was, therefore, an inevitable result of the geography of the location of the Russian people. If the diverse peoples of the Russian plain were to survive at all, they needed a strong autocratic authority to hold them together against the storms of military invasion. Consequently, in a very real way, the emmense authority that developed around the position of Tsar grew up out of the soil of the Russian plain.
If viewed in this light, many puzzling elements of Russian life can be better understood. The reason for their xenophobic reactions to outsiders and their servile attitude toward authority can all be drawn into sharper focus. No longer need we be reduced into racial stereotyping the Russian people as irresponsible children unready to accept the resposibilties of democratic government or as superstitious paranoids, frightened of any change. Their reactions to the world and acceptance of autocratic authority is the merely natural reaction of any people or culture who may have been similarly situated on a flat indefensible plain any where in the world.
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