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Showing 1-10 of 60 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 81 reviews
on July 22, 2013
Just finished reading this book. Being somewhat of a Romanov junkie, I wasn't expecting much new, but I found the book very interesting and picked up a lot of facts I didn't know, especially about the events during the Kerensky government. It is also always interesting to not get the usual hagiography of the imperial family. All in all, I would recommend this book even to knowledgeable Russian revolutionists. But....

Good Lord, who edited this thing?! Normally, a few mistakes here and there don't bother me, but after a steady diet of misspellings, incorrect punctuation, blatantly wrong facts (the first mention of Gatchina says it's northwest of St. Petersburg when it's south instead), I noticed that a part of my focus while reading was on looking for the next error. And the errors in the last few chapters were just sloppy manuscript/publishing issues (document file numbers showing up in the published text?! Seriously?). I can only assume the book was rushed into print since the last few chapters were obviously still draft.

However, don't let these keep you from this book. It's a great read.
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on December 29, 2014
After reading a great many books on the Romanovs and the Russian Revolution,this is the first book I have read about Michael. The author did a wonderful job of bringing this man to life, as well as Natasha, George and the whole Romanov family. The author clarifies the issues of succession in Imperial Russia, and nicely ties up the loose ends of the fate of the surviving Romanovs. I loved this book!!!
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on June 23, 2013
i enjoyed reading it as i have always enjoyed russian history. i have always wondered what would have happened if their government had gone down some other road after about 1900. i do believe that a few of the romanov family were really concerned with the future of russia, however, 'gee, i might have to do something, or what is the other word...."work"....' was the concern of the rest of them. as for nicky and alex, if you don't know what you are doing, or don't want to, or won't listen to people that know something, find other help, or step down. and that help should not come from other idiots. the more i read and think about it, i wonder if nicky knew the end was near.....not the murder of the family, but the end of the dynasty. it is all so sad. may they all rest in peace together now.

john a. short
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on June 19, 2013
I loved this book. I am an historian and taught it for 34 years. I've been reading about the Russian Revolution for years and yet I
learned so much more from this book than I ever knew before. It is so sad that this brother of Tsar Nicholas II was murdered be-
cause he wanted a constitutional monarchy for Russia, like that of England, but of course Lenin and the Bolsheviks prevailed. It
makes you wonder what if the Bolsheviks hadn't won and Michael had become tsar helping the Duma to write a good constitution
for Russia? Russia has suffered to an extraordinary extent that wouldn't have happened had he become tsar.
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on November 26, 2012
I love Russian history but I didn't know this story. The secrets were well kept. While there is plenty of literature on the Romanov dynasty and enough about the Soviet Union, the period in between has been under-examined. The Kerensky government was something that could have been democratic and better for the Russian people. The revolution led by Lenin later that same year evolved into an oligarchy almost immediately. This book examines the end of the reign of Nicholas II, the Provisional Government led by Kerensky, and the Soviet revolution. It would be hard to figure out who might be left to ascend the throne, if that were ever to happen. Michael's son died without heirs and some people condemned his marriage to a divorcee as scandalous and unworthy of the crown. The most vocal of these were Nicholas and Alexandra themselves. It appears that the Soviet leaders were successful in wiping out the dynasty.
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on December 10, 2014
Love this book it provided a lot of information on those unfamiliar with the Romanov family and it was a very easy read
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on October 9, 2014
Excellent and well documented. It shines a light on a little known area of Russian history. Donald Crawford is an excellent narrator and keeps you interested and involved. it is not your typical dry history biography. I enjoyed his insight into Kerensky and the refreshing view of the causes of the Russian Revolution in 1917. I would highly recommend it.
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on April 1, 2015
I really enjoyed this book. I have been interested in learning more about the tragic circumstance surrounding the horrible death of Tsar Nicholas II and the Romanov family. This book was easy to read and very informative. The book is written in a way that you can identify with the characters.
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on April 23, 2013
I dove into the book thinking it would be a straight-forward biography, being a fan of Richard Pipes and Orlando Figes. What I instead got was an Andrew Mortonish-light of a biography, full of gossip (if you ever wanted to find out the peccadilloes, social and sexual, of the Grand Dukes of Russia, this book's for you).

After a few pages, Grand Duke Michael, the subject of the book, is suddenly a grown-up. The sins of his family members start rolling in, to set the premise of the whole book: Tsarina Alexandra, bad; Michael (despite his harebrained love), good.

Other than his cold-blooded assassination, and constant assurances that Michael was a swell, people-loving guy, we don't get much historical theory or straight-up facts behind his life. We are told he refused the crown just because the very unusual abdication of his brother Nicholas. Somehow the fact that this very fine fellow refused to reign because of legal niceties is glossed over by the author.

Also glossed over is the fact that Michael was apparently a lover of tradition and custom, except when it came time to do what he wanted in his personal life, despite stern warnings from his brother.

All in all, I got to know Michael Romanov better, but the book leaves many more questions than answers.
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on August 24, 2013
I've been fascinated by the Romanovs since reading Nicholas and Alexandera as a teenager. The only thing I had ever heard about Michael was that he immediately abdicated soon after Nicholas. The implication was always that he was too frightened to do otherwise. I'd also heard that he was mostly a playboy caring more about his personal pleasures than Russia. This book twined very well with the true facts I've always known and those I'd never known.
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