A saga of love and lust, personal tensions and rivalries, antagonisms and hatreds, The Flight of the Romanovs describes the last century of the Russian imperial dynasty-a century that saw the greatest social and political upheavals in all of recorded history. Drawing upon a wealth of untapped resources from Russian, British, and American archives, including unpublished diaries of many of the principal characters and never-before-published photographs, Perry and Pleshakov render an indelible portrait of a family and their time, from the youth of Alexander III in the 1860s to the death, one hundred years later, of his daughter Olga Alexandrovna, the last Grand Duchess.Set against the backdrop of this most cataclysmic century, The Flight of the Romanovs is a must-read for anyone interested in this fascinating dynasty, Russian history, and the history of European royalty.
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(203mm x 127mm x 28mm)
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
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US Kirkus Review »
A thorough history of the Romanov family from the 1860s to the 1960s that provides rich detail about individual members and a general assessment of the family at large. There are numerous books on individual members of the Romanov family, but Tufts historian Perry (Beneath the Eagle's Wings: Americans in Occupied Japan, 1980) and Russian scholar Pleshakov claim to be the first to look at the family as a whole in the turbulent decades before and after the 1917 revolution. At the heart of the Romanov family was the tsar, and this account fleshes out the figures of the final three tsars: Alexander II, Alexander III, and Nicholas II. With a flair for dramatic narrative, the authors portray the intimate and official sides of these three unlike men. Yet, they rightly recognize that "the tsar's charisma extended to the whole family." Throughout their book, Perry and Pleshakov pay equal attention to the grand dukes and duchesses and their families. By striking this balance, they provide a convincing account of a family all of whose lives were regimented and formal and whose dissimilar personalities fit into these confines in different ways. Above all, they are sensitive to the frustrations of being a member of the Romanov family other than the tsar himself. The numerous grand dukes had responsibility without authority. The women they married, most often members of European royalty, had to find their way within the Romanov world and vie for influence with their husbands and relations. While sympathetic to the hardships of Romanov family life, Perry and Pleshakov lay serious blame on the members for the failure of leadership that "brought a tragedy of monumental proportions to the people of Russia." A family tree would have greatly benefited readers. A balanced account of the Romanovs that explores the full breadth of the family's life and personalities. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - John Curtis Perry
John Curtis Perry is Henry Willard Dennison Professor of History at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Constantine V. Pleshakov is Director of the Geopolitics and Pacific Studies Center at the Soviet Academy of Sciences.