FORMER PEOPLE THE FINAL DAYS OF THE RUSSIAN ARISTOCRACY

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Former People

Author : Douglas Smith
ISBN : 9780374157616
Genre : History
File Size : 51.54 MB
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Examines the fate of two Russian aristocratic families in a detailed account of the Bolshevik Revolution's effect on the upper class, discussing the relentless lootings, harrowing escapes, humbling exile and imprisonment, and summary executions that tookplace during this violent time of transition.
Category: History

Former People

Author : Douglas Smith
ISBN : 9781466827752
Genre : History
File Size : 68.9 MB
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Epic in scope, precise in detail, and heart-breaking in its human drama, Former People is the first book to recount the history of the aristocracy caught up in the maelstrom of the Bolshevik Revolution and the creation of Stalin's Russia. Filled with chilling tales of looted palaces and burning estates, of desperate flights in the night from marauding peasants and Red Army soldiers, of imprisonment, exile, and execution, it is the story of how a centuries'-old elite, famous for its glittering wealth, its service to the Tsar and Empire, and its promotion of the arts and culture, was dispossessed and destroyed along with the rest of old Russia. Yet Former People is also a story of survival and accommodation, of how many of the tsarist ruling class—so-called "former people" and "class enemies"—overcame the psychological wounds inflicted by the loss of their world and decades of repression as they struggled to find a place for themselves and their families in the new, hostile order of the Soviet Union. Chronicling the fate of two great aristocratic families—the Sheremetevs and the Golitsyns—it reveals how even in the darkest depths of the terror, daily life went on. Told with sensitivity and nuance by acclaimed historian Douglas Smith, Former People is the dramatic portrait of two of Russia's most powerful aristocratic families, and a sweeping account of their homeland in violent transition.
Category: History

Rasputin

Author : Douglas Smith
ISBN : 9780374711238
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 52.13 MB
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On the centenary of the death of Rasputin comes a definitive biography that will dramatically change our understanding of this fascinating figure A hundred years after his murder, Rasputin continues to excite the popular imagination as the personification of evil. Numerous biographies, novels, and films recount his mysterious rise to power as Nicholas and Alexandra's confidant and the guardian of the sickly heir to the Russian throne. His debauchery and sinister political influence are the stuff of legend, and the downfall of the Romanov dynasty was laid at his feet. But as the prizewinning historian Douglas Smith shows, the true story of Rasputin's life and death has remained shrouded in myth. A major new work that combines probing scholarship and powerful storytelling, Rasputinseparates fact from fiction to reveal the real life of one of history's most alluring figures. Drawing on a wealth of forgotten documents from archives in seven countries, Smith presents Rasputin in all his complexity--man of God, voice of peace, loyal subject, adulterer, drunkard. Rasputin is not just a definitive biography of an extraordinary and legendary man but a fascinating portrait of the twilight of imperial Russia as it lurched toward catastrophe.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Alexander Ii

Author : Edvard Radzinsky
ISBN : 9780743284264
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 24.50 MB
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Profiles the Romanov Dynasty tsar as one of Russia's most forward-thinking rulers, documenting his efforts to redefine history by bringing freedom to his country, the use of terrorist bombings by the radicals that lived during his regime, and the series of assassination attempts that eventually ended his life. By the author of The Last Tsar. Reprint. 35,000 first printing.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

The Pearl

Author : Douglas Smith
ISBN : 9780300150551
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 53.53 MB
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Set against the backdrop of imperial Russia, this tale of forbidden romance is the stuff of a great historical novel. It presents the account of the love between Count Nicholas Sheremetev, Russia's richest aristocrat, and Praskovia Kovalyova, his serf and the greatest opera diva of her time.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Stalin And The Scientists

Author : Simon Ings
ISBN : 9780802189868
Genre : History
File Size : 40.53 MB
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Scientists throughout history, from Galileo to today’s experts on climate change, have often had to contend with politics in their pursuit of knowledge. But in the Soviet Union, where the ruling elites embraced, patronized, and even fetishized science like never before, scientists lived their lives on a knife edge. The Soviet Union had the best-funded scientific establishment in history. Scientists were elevated as popular heroes and lavished with awards and privileges. But if their ideas or their field of study lost favor with the elites, they could be exiled, imprisoned, or murdered. And yet they persisted, making major contributions to 20th century science. Stalin and the Scientists tells the story of the many gifted scientists who worked in Russia from the years leading up to the Revolution through the death of the “Great Scientist” himself, Joseph Stalin. It weaves together the stories of scientists, politicians, and ideologues into an intimate and sometimes horrifying portrait of a state determined to remake the world. They often wreaked great harm. Stalin was himself an amateur botanist, and by falling under the sway of dangerous charlatans like Trofim Lysenko (who denied the existence of genes), and by relying on antiquated ideas of biology, he not only destroyed the lives of hundreds of brilliant scientists, he caused the death of millions through famine. But from atomic physics to management theory, and from radiation biology to neuroscience and psychology, these Soviet experts also made breakthroughs that forever changed agriculture, education, and medicine. A masterful book that deepens our understanding of Russian history, Stalin and the Scientists is a great achievement of research and storytelling, and a gripping look at what happens when science falls prey to politics.
Category: History

The Last Empire

Author : Serhii Plokhy
ISBN : 9780465097920
Genre : History
File Size : 56.7 MB
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On Christmas Day, 1991, President George H. W. Bush addressed the nation to declare an American victory in the Cold War: earlier that day Mikhail Gorbachev had resigned as the first and last Soviet president. The enshrining of that narrative, one in which the end of the Cold War was linked to the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the triumph of democratic values over communism, took center stage in American public discourse immediately after Bush’s speech and has persisted for decades—with disastrous consequences for American standing in the world. As prize-winning historian Serhii Plokhy reveals in The Last Empire, the collapse of the Soviet Union was anything but the handiwork of the United States. On the contrary, American leaders dreaded the possibility that the Soviet Union—weakened by infighting and economic turmoil—might suddenly crumble, throwing all of Eurasia into chaos. Bush was firmly committed to supporting his ally and personal friend Gorbachev, and remained wary of nationalist or radical leaders such as recently elected Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Fearing what might happen to the large Soviet nuclear arsenal in the event of the union’s collapse, Bush stood by Gorbachev as he resisted the growing independence movements in Ukraine, Moldova, and the Caucasus. Plokhy’s detailed, authoritative account shows that it was only after the movement for independence of the republics had gained undeniable momentum on the eve of the Ukrainian vote for independence that fall that Bush finally abandoned Gorbachev to his fate. Drawing on recently declassified documents and original interviews with key participants, Plokhy presents a bold new interpretation of the Soviet Union’s final months and argues that the key to the Soviet collapse was the inability of the two largest Soviet republics, Russia and Ukraine, to agree on the continuing existence of a unified state. By attributing the Soviet collapse to the impact of American actions, US policy makers overrated their own capacities in toppling and rebuilding foreign regimes. Not only was the key American role in the demise of the Soviet Union a myth, but this misplaced belief has guided—and haunted—American foreign policy ever since.
Category: History

Russia S Rulers Under The Old Regime

Author : Dominic Lieven
ISBN : 0300049374
Genre : History
File Size : 83.55 MB
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Drawing on previously untouched Soviet archival sources, Dominic Lieven here probes into the lives and politics of the most important members of Tsar Nicholas II's government - the 215 men appointed by Nicholas to his State Council. Lieven's book tells us a great deal about the last ruling elite of Russia, about the balance of power between bureaucrats and their monarchs, about the role and personality of Nicholas II, and about the coming of the Russian Revolution.
Category: History

A Gentleman In Moscow

Author : Amor Towles
ISBN : 9780670026197
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 72.32 MB
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A New York Times bestseller "The same gorgeous, layered richness that marked Towles' debut, Rules of Civility, shapes [A Gentleman in Moscow]" - Entertainment Weekly "Elegant... as lavishly filigreed as a Fabergé egg" - O, the Oprah Magazine He can't leave his hotel. You won't want to. From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility--a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel "Towles's greatest narrative effect is not the moments of wonder and synchronicity but the generous transformation of these peripheral workers, over the course of decades, into confidants, equals and, finally, friends. With them around, a life sentence in these gilded halls might make Rostov the luckiest man in Russia." -The New York Times Book Review In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery. Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count's endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose. "And the intrigue! ... [A Gentleman in Moscow] is laced with sparkling threads (they will tie up) and tokens (they will matter): special keys, secret compartments, gold coins, vials of coveted liquid, old-fashioned pistols, duels and scars, hidden assignations (discreet and smoky), stolen passports, a ruby necklace, mysterious letters on elegant hotel stationery... a luscious stage set, backdrop for a downright Casablanca-like drama." - The San Francisco Chronicle
Category: Fiction

From Splendor To Revolution

Author : Julia P. Gelardi
ISBN : 1429990945
Genre : History
File Size : 70.70 MB
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This sweeping saga recreates the extraordinary opulence and violence of Tsarist Russia as the shadow of revolution fell over the land, and destroyed a way of life for these Imperial women The early 1850s until the late 1920s marked a turbulent and significant era for Russia. During that time the country underwent a massive transformation, taking it from days of grandeur under the tsars to the chaos of revolution and the beginnings of the Soviet Union. At the center of all this tumult were four women of the Romanov dynasty. Marie Alexandrovna and Olga Constantinovna were born into the family, Russian Grand Duchesses at birth. Marie Feodorovna and Marie Pavlovna married into the dynasty, the former born a Princess of Denmark, the latter a Duchess of the German duchy of Mecklendburg-Schwerin. In From Splendor to Revolution, we watch these pampered aristocratic women fight for their lives as the cataclysm of war engulfs them. In a matter of a few short years, they fell from the pinnacle of wealth and power to the depths of danger, poverty, and exile. It is an unforgettable epic story.
Category: History