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Romanovs: The Final Chapter Unknown Binding – 1995

4.2 out of 5 stars 177 customer reviews

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Unknown Binding, 1995
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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Random House (1995)
  • ASIN: B000H226SK
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 5.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (177 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,810,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm guessing that most people buying "The Romanovs: The Final Chapter" have already read Massie's "Nicholas and Alexandra" (first published in 1967) but if you haven't, I highly recommend it as "The Romanov's" is basically a final update to the family's tragic tale. Also, Massie's first book on Russia's last Tsar will make this book more personal to the reader as one gets a sentimental appreciation of who Nicholas and his family were from "Nicholas and Alexandra."
This book is far different than Massie's other historical epics as he takes on the role of an investigative journalist rather than a historian. Massie is on the front-lines, from DNA labs to court rooms, searching for a final answer as to whose skeletons were unearthed by an Ekaterinburg resident in the late 70's.
Massie leaves the reader with a plethora of factual information that all but ends one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century. Using DNA tests, Massie proves, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Russia's royal family and servants are the ones that were buried beneath the road outside Ekaterinburg. He also proves beyond a reasonable doubt, that Anna Anderson, who was the 20th century's greatest con artist, was not Anastasia, Tsarevna of Russia, but a mere Polish peasant.
With all the crime solving, the book at times gets bogged down into quotes, lengthy (but pertinent) explanations of scientific facts and petty arguments between scientists and lawyers, which limits Massie's masterful writing-style to a minimum. After reading all his books, the only sections that come close to capturing his colorful and accomplished style of prose are the first and last chapters.
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Format: Hardcover
Nicholas and Alexandra is the definitive book about the last rulers of Russia, and Robert Massie's The Romanov's: The Final Chapter is a fitting sequel to this venerable book. N & A ends with the execution of Nicholas and his family, but we discover in The Final Chapter that much has happened since the original was published in 1967. Lots of new information has become available due to perestroika, the fall of the Soviet Union, the opning of many long-sealed records and archives, and a renewed interest in the monarchy. All of these changes make us realize that there are many more chapters to the Romanov story, and this book is filled with mystery, tragedy, science, bickering, intrique, and above all, a profound sadness.
We read about the discovery of the Romanov remains and how and why this was kept secret for so long. We learn about the DNA testing to determine the authenticity of the remains and the subsequent fighting over that. Of course, there is the problem of the two missing skeletons and the controversy this causes. We are introduced to a number of Romanov imposters including Anna Anderson. We learn about the fates of the true surviving Romanov's and their battle over who should be claimant to the throne. We also are informed of the destruction of the Ipatiev House by Brezhnev so that it wouldn't become a monarchist shrine. And finally, we hear about the rumors of a vast Romanov fortune that is supposed to be in foreign banks and has never been found.
Since this book has been published, the Romanov remains have finally been reburied in St. Petersburg. But even this could not be accomplished without the bickering of the surviving Romanov's (as characterized in The Final Chapter). Some of them even boycotted the event. It is not always a pretty story.
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Format: Paperback
Massie relates two fascinating stories: the first involves finding the remains of the family of Russia's last Czar, and the second recounts the assertion of Anna Andersen to be the Czar's youngest daughter, Anastasia.
In order to find the remains, layers of lies and bureaucracy must be untangled. Once unearthed, the task of identifying the bodies becomes a test of both science and diplomacy.
The question of whether Anastasia survived the Russian Revolution proves to be fiercely debated. Personalities from all over the globe are involved in the discussion. Massie relates the various positions in an even-handed fashion and brings compelling scientific evidence to bear.
The final chapter of the Romanovs proves that non-fiction can be more spellbinding than fiction. A must-read for anyone interested in Russia, forensic science, or well-crafted non-fiction. I liked Massie's _Nicholas and Alexandra_, but I LOVED this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Robert K. Massie does it again by writing a superb "sequel" to his 1967 historical account "Nicholas and Alexandra". The book "The Romanovs: The Final Chapter" was written in response to the affirmation of the discoveries of the bones of the Romanov family. The book is divided into two parts. The first part addresses the discovery and verification of the bones. The discovery of the bones had after all, led to several debates. One debate naturally dealt with the authenticity of the bones. Along those lines there had arisen a rivalry between the various scientists that tested the authenticity of the bones. Furthermore there was a question as to whether the Russian Orthodox Church would recognize the remains of the Romanov family and thus give them a fitting burial. It was eventually through various tests, that the remains of nine people were proven to be in fact the royal family. However the final problem was that the remains of Alexei the heir to the throne and that of one of his youngest sisters were still missing. But scientists were also unsure which sister it was that was still missing. Most scientists believed that it was the youngest daughter Anastasia. There were nonetheless a substantial amount of scientists who concurred that it was Maria and not Anastasia who was missing. Finally there were questions as to the whereabouts of the remains of the two children regardless of their identity. It is from here that the second part of the book begins: The Pretenders.

The second half of the book mainly addresses the claims of Anna Anderson, the alleged surviving Grand Duchess who was better known as Anastasia. R.K. Massie goes through the pains of briefly recounting the life of Anna Anderson from her attempted suicide to the time of her death over fifty years later.
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