"Helen Rappaport paints a compelling portrait of the doomed grand duchesses." —People magazine
"The public spoke of the sisters in a gentile, superficial manner, but Rappaport captures sections of letters and diary entries to showcase the sisters' thoughtfulness and intelligence." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Days of the Romanovs and Caught in the Revolution, The Romanov Sisters reveals the untold stories of the four daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra.
They were the Princess Dianas of their day—perhaps the most photographed and talked about young royals of the early twentieth century. The four captivating Russian Grand Duchesses—Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia Romanov—were much admired for their happy dispositions, their looks, the clothes they wore and their privileged lifestyle.
Over the years, the story of the four Romanov sisters and their tragic end in a basement at Ekaterinburg in 1918 has clouded our view of them, leading to a mass of sentimental and idealized hagiography. With this treasure trove of diaries and letters from the grand duchesses to their friends and family, we learn that they were intelligent, sensitive and perceptive witnesses to the dark turmoil within their immediate family and the ominous approach of the Russian Revolution, the nightmare that would sweep their world away, and them along with it.
The Romanov Sisters sets out to capture the joy as well as the insecurities and poignancy of those young lives against the backdrop of the dying days of late Imperial Russia, World War I and the Russian Revolution. Helen Rappaport aims to present a new and challenging take on the story, drawing extensively on previously unseen or unpublished letters, diaries and archival sources, as well as private collections. It is a book that will surprise people, even aficionados.
National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
PEN Literary Award Finalist
New York Times Notable Book
Washington Post Notable Book
Boston Globe Best Book of the Year
The award-winning author of Villa Air-Bel returns with a painstakingly researched, revelatory biography of Svetlana Stalin, a woman fated to live her life in the shadow of one of history’s most monstrous dictators—her father, Josef Stalin.
Born in the early years of the Soviet Union, Svetlana Stalin spent her youth inside the walls of the Kremlin. Communist Party privilege protected her from the mass starvation and purges that haunted Russia, but she did not escape tragedy—the loss of everyone she loved, including her mother, two brothers, aunts and uncles, and a lover twice her age, deliberately exiled to Siberia by her father.
As she gradually learned about the extent of her father’s brutality after his death, Svetlana could no longer keep quiet and in 1967 shocked the world by defecting to the United States—leaving her two children behind. But although she was never a part of her father’s regime, she could not escape his legacy. Her life in America was fractured; she moved frequently, married disastrously, shunned other Russian exiles, and ultimately died in poverty in Wisconsin.
With access to KGB, CIA, and Soviet government archives, as well as the close cooperation of Svetlana’s daughter, Rosemary Sullivan pieces together Svetlana’s incredible life in a masterful account of unprecedented intimacy. Epic in scope, it’s a revolutionary biography of a woman doomed to be a political prisoner of her father’s name. Sullivan explores a complicated character in her broader context without ever losing sight of her powerfully human story, in the process opening a closed, brutal world that continues to fascinate us.
Illustrated with photographs.
Svetlana Iosifovna Alliluyeva, later known as Lana Peters, was the youngest child and only daughter of Joseph Stalin and Nadezhda Alliluyeva, his second wife. In 1967, she fled the Soviet Union for India, where she approached the U.S. Embassy for asylum. Once there, she showed her CIA handler something remarkable: A personal memoir about growing up inside the Kremlin that she’d written in 1963. The Indian Ambassador to the USSR, whom she’d befriended, had smuggled the manuscript out of the Soviet Union the previous year—and returned it to her as soon as she arrived in India.
Structured as a series of letters to a “friend”—Svetlana refused to identify him, but we now know it was her close friend, Fyodor Volkenstein—this astounding memoir exposes the dark human heart of the Kremlin. After opening with Stalin’s death, Svetlana returns to her childhood. Each letter adds a new strand to her remarkable story; some are wistful—romanticized recollections of her early years and her family—while others are desperate exorcisms of the tragedies that plagued her, such as her mother’s suicide and her father’s increasing cruelty. It is also in some ways a love letter to Russia, with its ancient heritage and spectacularly varied geography.
Candid, surprising, and utterly compelling, Twenty Letters to a Friend offers one of the most revealing portraits of life inside Stalin’s inner circle, and of the notorious dictator himself.
The brutal murder of the Russian Imperial family on the night of July 16–17, 1918 has long been a defining moment in world history. The Last Days of the Romanovs reveals in exceptional detail how the conspiracy to kill them unfolded.
In the vivid style of a TV documentary, Helen Rappaport reveals both the atmosphere inside the family's claustrophobic prison and the political maneuverings of those who wished to save—or destroy—them. With the watching world and European monarchies proving incapable of saving the Romanovs, the narrative brings this tragic story to life in a compellingly new and dramatic way, culminating in a bloody night of horror in a cramped basement room.
Celebrate thirty years of the world's most notorious rock band with the deluxe collectors' edition of The Dirt—the outrageous, legendary, no-holds-barred autobiography of Mötley Crüe. Fans have gotten glimpses into the band's crazy world of backstage scandals, celebrity love affairs, rollercoaster drug addictions, and immortal music in Mötley Crüe books like Tommyland and The Heroin Diaries, but now the full spectrum of sin and success by Tommy Lee, Nikki Sixx, Vince Neil, and Mick Mars is an open book in The Dirt. Even fans already familiar with earlier editions of the bestselling exposé will treasure this gorgeous deluxe edition. Joe Levy at Rolling Stone calls The Dirt "without a doubt . . . the most detailed account of the awesome pleasures and perils of rock & roll stardom I have ever read. It is completely compelling and utterly revolting."