Nicholas and Alexandra: The Classic Account of the Fall of the Romanov Dynasty

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The story of the love that ended an empire

In this commanding book, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Robert K. Massie sweeps readers back to the extraordinary world of Imperial Russia to tell the story of the Romanovs’ lives: Nicholas’s political naïveté, Alexandra’s obsession with the corrupt mystic Rasputin, and little Alexis’s brave struggle with hemophilia. Against a lavish backdrop of luxury and intrigue, Massie unfolds a powerful drama of passion and history—the story of a doomed empire and the death-marked royals who watched it crumble.

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Robert K. Massie's Catherine the Great. 

Praise for Nicholas and Alexandra

“A larger-than-life drama.”Saturday Review

“A moving, rich book . . . [This] revealing, densely documented account of the last Romanovs focuses not on the great events . . . but on the royal family and their evil nemesis. . . . The tale is so bizarre, no melodrama is equal to it.”Newsweek

“A wonderfully rich tapestry, the colors fresh and clear, every strand sewn in with a sure hand. Mr. Massie describes those strange and terrible years with sympathy and understanding. . . . They come vividly before our eyes.”The New York Times
 
“An all-too-human picture . . . Both Nicholas and Alexandra with all their failings come truly alive, as does their almost storybook romance.”Newsday
 
“A magnificent and intimate picture . . . Not only the main characters but a whole era become alive and comprehensible.”Harper’s
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More by Robert K. Massie

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“[A] tale of power, perseverance and passion . . . a great story in the hands of a master storyteller.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and The Romanovs returns with another masterpiece of narrative biography, the extraordinary story of an obscure German princess who became one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in history. Born into a minor noble family, Catherine transformed herself into empress of Russia by sheer determination. For thirty-four years, the government, foreign policy, cultural development, and welfare of the Russian people were in her hands. She dealt with domestic rebellion, foreign wars, and the tidal wave of political change and violence churned up by the French Revolution. Catherine’s family, friends, ministers, generals, lovers, and enemies—all are here, vividly brought to life. History offers few stories richer than that of Catherine the Great. In this book, an eternally fascinating woman is returned to life.
 
“[A] compelling portrait not just of a Russian titan, but also of a flesh-and-blood woman.”—Newsweek
 
“An absorbing, satisfying biography.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“Juicy and suspenseful.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“A great life, indeed, and irresistibly told.”—Salon
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New York Times • The Washington Post • USA Today • The Boston Globe • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • Salon • Vogue • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Providence Journal • Washington Examiner • South Florida Sun-Sentinel • BookPage • Bookreporter • Publishers Weekly

BONUS: This edition contains a Catherine the Great reader's guide.
From the Modern Library’s new set of beautifully repackaged hardcover classics by Robert K. Massie—also available are Nicholas and Alexandra and The Romanovs

Against the monumental canvas of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe and Russia unfolds the magnificent story of Peter the Great, crowned co-tsar at the age of ten. The acclaimed author of Catherine the Great, Robert K. Massie delves deep into the life of this captivating historical figure, chronicling the pivotal events that shaped a boy into a legend—including his “incognito” travels in Europe, his unquenchable curiosity about Western ways, his obsession with the sea and establishment of the stupendous Russian navy, his creation of an unbeatable army, his transformation of Russia, and his relationships with those he loved most: Catherine, the robust yet gentle peasant, his loving mistress, wife, and successor; and Menshikov, the charming, bold, unscrupulous prince who rose to wealth and power through Peter’s friendship. Impetuous and stubborn, generous and cruel, tender and unforgiving, a man of enormous energy and complexity, Peter the Great is brought fully to life.
 
The Modern Library of the World’s Best Books
 
Peter the Great
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
 
“Enthralling . . . as fascinating as any novel and more so than most.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
Nicholas and Alexandra
 
“A magnificent and intimate picture . . . Not only the main characters but a whole era become alive and comprehensible.”—Harper’s
 
The Romanovs
 
“Riveting . . . unfolds like a detective story.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review
4.7
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Additional Information

Publisher
Random House
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Published on
Nov 8, 2011
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Pages
640
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ISBN
9780307788474
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
Biography & Autobiography / Political
Biography & Autobiography / Royalty
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Grigory Efimovich Rasputin came to St. Petersburg from his Siberian cabin in 1903 like a projectile from the medieval past, tattered, black-clad, muttering. By the time he was murdered thirteen years later, the peasant was the "beloved" Friend  of Tsar Nicholas and Empress Alexandra and the sponsor of the most powerful officials in Russia. He had become, a society lady wrote, "a dusk enveloping all our world, eclipsing the sun. How could so pitiful a wretch throw so vast a shadow? It was inexplicable, maddening, almost incredible. "

Rasputin's name has become synonymous with evil, but his legend has obscured the facts of his life. In this evocative biography, Brian Moynahan presents us with a flesh-and-blood Rasputin, more fascinating than the myth--a man in whom debauchery coexisted beside a real (if erratic) spiritual sense, a man whose coarseness hid a savvy awareness of human psychology. Drawing on confidential police reports, cabinet meeting memos, and other documents, some available only since the fall of the Soviet Union, Moynahan sheds new light on Rasputin's life and disputes some of the widely held details of his death.
   
The young Rasputin was a drinker, thief, and womanizer. He claimed to have religious visions and became a wandering holy man, preaching that exposure to sin could drive out sin. He stormed the fashionable salons of St. Petersburg, and in 1905 he met Nicholas and Alexandra, who, increasingly despised by the sophisticated, found in Rasputin reassurance that the "real Russia,  the simple and pious peasantry, loved them. Rasputin's mysterious ability to stop the bleeding attacks of their hemophiliac only son, Alexis, sealed the approval of the domineering Alexandra. With royal patronage, Rasputin became increasingly reckless, partying with prostitutes, peddling influence, plotting the disgrace of those who crossed him. Ever contradictory, he was also a devoted family man, a defender of the poor, and a figure of immense charisma. As Germany battered Russia during World War I, as Nicholas's ineptitude as a leader became ever more rampant and the masses went hungry, Rasputin seemed to monarchists to be the cause, and not just the symptom, of corrupt government. A group of conspirators gathered--among them a grand duke and a scion of the richest family in Russia--and one of the most famous murders in history was planned.
   
Set against the vivid backdrop of prerevolutionary Russia, Rasputin is a portrait of an age as well as of a man.

NOTE: This edition does not include photographs.
The dramatic story of Emperor Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna, the last Tsar and Tsarina of Russia—A penetrating and deeply personal study that gives profound psychological insight into their marriage and how it shaped the events that engulfed them.

There are few characters in history about whom opinion has been more divided than the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, and his wife the Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna. On one hand, they are venerated as saints, innocent victims of Bolshevik assassins, and on the other they are impugned as the unwitting harbingers of revolution and imperial collapse, blamed for all the ills that befell the Russian people in the 20th century. Theirs was also a tragic love story; for whatever else can be said of them, there can be no doubt that Alix and Nicky adored one another. Soon after their engagement, Alix wrote in her fiancé's diary: "Ever true and ever loving, faithful, pure and strong as death"—words which met their fulfillment twenty-four years later in a blood-spattered cellar in Ekaterinburg.

Through the letters and diaries written by the couple and by those around them, Virginia Rounding presents an intimate, penetrating, and fresh portrayal of these two complex figures and of their passion—their love and their suffering. She explores the nature and possible causes of the Empress's ill health, and examines in depth the enigmatic triangular relationship between Nicky, Alix and their ‘favourite,' Ania Vyrubova, protégée of the infamous Rasputin, extracting the meaning from words left unsaid, from hints and innuendoes..

The story of Alix and Nicky, of their four daughters known collectively as ‘OTMA' and of their hemophiliac little boy Alexei, is endlessly fascinating, and Rounding makes these characters come alive, presenting them in all their human dimensions and expertly leading the reader into their vanished world.

“[A] tale of power, perseverance and passion . . . a great story in the hands of a master storyteller.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and The Romanovs returns with another masterpiece of narrative biography, the extraordinary story of an obscure German princess who became one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in history. Born into a minor noble family, Catherine transformed herself into empress of Russia by sheer determination. For thirty-four years, the government, foreign policy, cultural development, and welfare of the Russian people were in her hands. She dealt with domestic rebellion, foreign wars, and the tidal wave of political change and violence churned up by the French Revolution. Catherine’s family, friends, ministers, generals, lovers, and enemies—all are here, vividly brought to life. History offers few stories richer than that of Catherine the Great. In this book, an eternally fascinating woman is returned to life.
 
“[A] compelling portrait not just of a Russian titan, but also of a flesh-and-blood woman.”—Newsweek
 
“An absorbing, satisfying biography.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“Juicy and suspenseful.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“A great life, indeed, and irresistibly told.”—Salon
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New York Times • The Washington Post • USA Today • The Boston Globe • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • Salon • Vogue • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Providence Journal • Washington Examiner • South Florida Sun-Sentinel • BookPage • Bookreporter • Publishers Weekly

BONUS: This edition contains a Catherine the Great reader's guide.
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