- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (June 15, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312143796
- ISBN-13: 978-0312143794
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,313,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Nicholas II: Twilight of the Empire Paperback – June 15, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
British political historian Lieven examines Nicholas and the disintegration of the monarchy in light of the recent collapse of the Soviet system.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"A rare balance of personal and political insight: timely and persuasive." --Kirkus Reviews
"Dominic Lieven's outstanding book on the last Tsar needs to be read" --The (London) Times
"The most intelligent, readable, and well-informed biography for many years to come." --The Sunday Telegraph
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Great book to read to get a balanced view of Imperial Russia and the immense problems faced by the Imperial government.
The account of Nicholas is fairly balanced, he is shown as a decent man dedicated to his family, country and its people, but neither equipped with character needed to run the huge country, nor even trained for that. Despite the fact the author clearly sympathize with Nicholas and his huge burden; there are numerous accounts in the book describing Nicholas glaring lack of vision, lack of assertiveness and simply managerial skills. For example, after the World War I started in 1914, Nicholas II, the "chief executive of Russia", for several months continued to lead a life of the country gentlemen, riding horses, playing tennis, visiting relatives for tea.
For his credit Nicholas did in the end assumed the supreme command of the Russian army, but not until after it suffered several disastrous defeats. He was on the one hand, an intelligent and decent, but soft and indecisive man trying to play a role of iron-willed autocrat, and on the other hand a member of a leisure class, a country gentleman trying to play a role of a hands-on CEO of a huge corporation called Russia. As Mr. Lieven showed, Nicholas had honestly tried, but unfortunately because of his own mistakes and disastrous external circumstances failed in both roles. Despite that, to the author's credit the collapse of the Russian Empire and fall of the Romanov dynasty is mostly attributed to the inability of the Russian State to quickly modernize itself, rather than to other coincidental factors as the presence of Rasputin or tolerated by the Tsar widespread involvement to the politics of his family and relatives.