Monday, August 13, 2012

The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II - Edvard Radzinsky

A new way to present information and let the reader decide. In other words: down with the 5 stars!

Research from primary sources such as first-hand testimonies, archives
Assertions of dubious quality such as “Rasputin did have magic powers” (no kidding)
Engaging narrative. Reads like a novel
The author takes issues too seriously so personal that reader can’t tell what is a historic fact and what is an opinion (“His tragedy was that, although he was stubborn, he was also unable to say a clear no to a petitioner’s face. He was too delicate and well bred to be crudely determinate. He preferred silence to rejection, and as a rule the petitioner took his silence for consent.”
It is a book about Russia written by a Russian and translated to English by a Russophile. It has pearls such as this: “Russians love a good plot-camarillas, Masons, whatever-wherein fact there is usually just plain sloppiness.
Typical Russian attitude of “Russia is different and nobody from the outside can understand it”
The research on the death of Nicholas II and his family, as well as the destiny of their corpses, is exhaustive.
The research on the fate of the people who actually murdered the imperial family is too large, at least for non-Russians or non-experts. I finished this book one day ago, and I already forgot most of that part of the book.
The first edition of the book was written in the last days of the USSR and you can feel it: “In my day, there was a revolutionary idea in the air that a Chekist should visit a dying man instead of a priest. In the end, even atheists need to unburden their souls, and who better to tell than the institution where one was supposed to speak only the truth?

No comments:

Post a Comment