Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar

Alexander II The Last Great Tsar Alexander II was Russia s Lincoln and the greatest reformer tsar since Peter the Great He was also one of the most contradictory and fascinating of history s supreme leaders He freed the serfs yet

  • Title: Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar
  • Author: Edvard Radzinsky Эдвард Радзинский Antonina W. Bouis
  • ISBN: 9780743273329
  • Page: 209
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Alexander II was Russia s Lincoln, and the greatest reformer tsar since Peter the Great He was also one of the most contradictory, and fascinating, of history s supreme leaders He freed the serfs, yet launched vicious wars He engaged in the sexual exploits of a royal Don Juan, yet fell profoundly in love He ruled during the Russian Renaissance of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy,Alexander II was Russia s Lincoln, and the greatest reformer tsar since Peter the Great He was also one of the most contradictory, and fascinating, of history s supreme leaders He freed the serfs, yet launched vicious wars He engaged in the sexual exploits of a royal Don Juan, yet fell profoundly in love He ruled during the Russian Renaissance of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Turgenev yet his Russia became the birthplace of modern terrorism His story could be that of one of Russia s greatest novels, yet it is true It is also crucially important today.It is a tale that runs on parallel tracks Alexander freed 23 million Russian slaves, reformed the justice system and the army, and very nearly became the father of Russia s first constitution and the man who led that nation into a new era of western style liberalism Yet it was during this feverish time that modern nihilism first arose On the sidelines of Alexander s state dramas, a group of radical, disaffected young people first experimented with dynamite, and first began to use terrorism Fueled by the writings of a few intellectuals and zealots, they built bombs, dug tunnels, and planned ambushes They made no less than six unsuccessful attempts on Alexander s life Finally, the parallel tracks joined, when a small cell of terrorists, living next door to Dostoevsky, built the fatal bomb that ended the life of the last great Tsar It stopped Russian reform in its tracks.Edvard Radzinsky is justly famous as both a biographer and a dramatist, and he brings both skills to bear in this vivid, page turning, rich portrait of one of the greatest of all Romanovs Delving deep into the archives, he raises intriguing questionsabout the connections between Dostoevsky and the young terrorists, about the hidden romances of the Romanovs, and about the palace conspiracies that may have linked hard line aristocrats with their nemesis, the young nihilists.Alexander s life proves the timeless lesson that in Russia, it is dangerous to start reforms, but even dangerous to stop them It also shows that the traps and dangers encountered in today s war on terrorists were there from the start.

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      Published :2020-01-12T04:21:43+00:00

    About “Edvard Radzinsky Эдвард Радзинский Antonina W. Bouis

    • Edvard Radzinsky Эдвард Радзинский Antonina W. Bouis

      Radzinsky Russian is an author of than forty popular non fiction books on historical subjects Since the 1990s, he has written the series Mysteries of History The books translated to English include his biographies of Tsars Nicholas II and Alexander II, Rasputin, and Joseph Stalin His book Stalin The First In depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents from Russia s Secret Archives discusses a number of well known controversies about Joseph Stalin, including the existence of a fuller text of Lenin s Testament, the alleged involvement of Stalin as an agent of the Tsarist secret police, and the role of Stalin in the death of his wife and the murder of Sergey Kirov According to Radzinsky, Stalin was poisoned by order of Lavrentiy Beria His book includes an interview with a former bodyguard of Stalin, who stated that on the night of Stalin s death, the bodyguards were relieved of duty by an NKVD officer named Khrustalev This same officer was briefly mentioned in Memories, the memoir of Stalin s daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva Radzinsky also supported the hypotesis by Viktor Suvorov that Stalin had prepared a preemptive strike against Nazi Germany

    353 thoughts on “Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar

    • I think Lytton Strachey must have been reincarnated as Edvard Radzinsky. It's the same style of biography; deliciously written, immediate, the facts of the subject's life synthesized and distilled into a highly engaging account, but also with its flaws of lacking rigor and relying too much on such imagined details as the quality of someone's stare or their thoughts, with a fair amount of conjecture in addition. Strachey was a groundbreaker. I have no sense of Radzinsky's place in Russian histori [...]

    • I have heard people say things about the author of this book making stuff up and lying and bias, but I personally saw no evidence of such. For me, this was a beautiful albeit violent, balanced and enthralling book, highly informative to anyone curious about the roots of the Russian revolution.

    • It's a peculiarity of the Russian monarchy that I can simultaneously be horrified by and feel sorry for them. Radzinksy, writing after the fall of the Soviet Union, manages to balance the revolutionaries and the royal family so that we sympathize and condemn both sides at once, leaving us shaking our heads at the tragedy.Russia has had some of the most screwed up politics anywhere for pretty much most of its existence. As Radzinsky points out repeatedly, in Imperial Russia, literally everyone is [...]

    • Аз бях сигурна в началото, че ще дам 1 единствена звездичка за тази книга, но! Първо, това не е никаква биография на Александър II, това са 1/3 пикантерии от спалнята на тейко му и самия него и 2/3 история на създаването и дейността на "Народна воля". Второ, тия от изд."Прозорец", що т [...]

    • This book should have borne a different title as there is too much extraneous material for it to be a biography of Alexander II. A solid third is devoted to the various revolutionaries/terrorists of the time. The author spends pages and pages discussing Dostoesvsky, Turgenev, and the other novelists of the day. Now, some of that interested me, but most of it bored me. Moreover, these subjects were not what I was looking for in a book called "Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar." Indeed, the charac [...]

    • n this book Edvard Radzinsky puts forward a compelling suggestion that there was a conspiracy within the court to kill Alexander; and this may have even included his son, the future Alexander III. Of course, the author never really states this openly, but rather only presents the question. There is no actual proof for this claim, but yet it is still an interesting one. Was it possible that various members of the government allowed the terrorists to be successful? Based on the bit of information [...]

    • I found reading this book to be a strange experience. It's packed full of informationbut it is related in a style I can only describe as "story book". It's it a cautionary tale? An apologist guide to Russia? A lament, or a statement of resigned indifference? And if you're going to make comparisons to Gorbachev in the late 20th century, surely you should establish a thesis for such an approach from the outset? A useful research tool, but one very odd read.

    • (I couldn't get this to change the edition, but I read the Free Press hardback edition, if it really matters)I KNEW I was going to like this book as soon as I saw that it was by Edvard Radzinsky. I read his The Last Tsar many years ago and found it informative, interesting, an easy read, and, in some ways, quite funny in a dark humor way.Radzinsky has no qualms against giving his opinion about the people and times he is writing about. Unlike most historians, he doesn't try to maintain an objecti [...]

    • Мне сложно передать свое отношение к этой книге. С одной стороны, это очень странная биография, в которой описываемая личность уходит даже не на второй план, а куда-то на самые задворки книги. С другой стороны, это замечательный исторический роман, который вряд ли откроет чи [...]

    • This is more of a sweep of Russian history 1820's to 1881 than a biography. It's the compelling story of how the revolution brewed for so many years. A short search of will show a lot of treatments of the reigns of Catherine the Great and Nicholas II with not much in the middle. This book fills that gap. Once you read about this period, you see that understanding it is critical to understanding the aftermath.It's a little hard to get into. Some of it is the unfamiliar Russian names and material [...]

    • Много ме забавлява приповдигнатия тон на разказа. Вместо да засипва читателя със сухи факти, Радзински го въвежда в пикантния свят на дворцовите клюки и мрачното залутано съществуване на революционерите-терористи, създавайки му обобщена представа за епохата. Това е изклю [...]

    • "The Last Great Tsar". I'd hesitate to group Alexander II with Peter the Great or Catherine the Great. If Radzinsky was trying to make that case, he failed. He was certainly better than the two who followed him, but that doesn't set a very high bar. Alexander II freed the serfs and was attempting to move to a constitutional government when he was assassinated. But he wasn't particularly successful as a diplomat or military leader, and he had a bad tendency to vacillate. I found the material on t [...]

    • Книга даже не столько биография Александра II, сколько целое погружение в эпоху, и благодаря ей в моем сознании эта личность из размытого еще со школьных лет образа превратилась в конкретного человека. Не могу оценивать Эдварда Радзинского как историка, так как в этой облас [...]

    • Alexander II tried to introduce some liberal reforms, but ultimately he was a dictator who held supreme power, just like every other tsar. One admirable accomplishment is that he did free the serfs. It is kind of amazing that a tsar managed to abolish slavery in 1861, four years before the President of the United States, a democracy, was able to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. The multiple assassination attempts against Alexander II make for a complete comedy of errors. After reading the [...]

    • I love a compellingly written history and this one ranks right up there with Frederic Morton's books on Vienna. Radzinsky tells a great story (what amazing and awful things these Russians have done to each other!), is solid with his research, and skillfully drops in occasional speculation in the "what if" and the "how this might connect with today" categories. Right after I finished this book, I happened upon an NPR report from Russia and found that I had a new set of understandings to apply to [...]

    • Russia may have never fallen into the hands of Communists if this foreward thinking man was not assasinated. He liberated the serfs, and had many progressive ideas in the works to lead Russia to more of a democratic society and less of an autocracy. His assaination angered his son, Alexander III so much, that he cancelled his fathers plans for reform and took the full reins of Tsarist power. If only the assassins had known of Alexander II's plans for the future of Russia, things would have been [...]

    • I was really looking forward to reading this one, especially as the author had written a very good biography about Nicholas II. Instead, this was a not very interesting read, despite the fact that Alexander II, the Tsar-Liberator, had done quite a bit to pull Russia more in line with other European democracies, and had freed the serfs. Instead, this just sort of meanders along, and I was bored by the end. Not a good sign. For the complete review, please go here:epinions/content_20854

    • Vlot geschreven. Geeft aardig inzicht in de Russische politieke volksaard: er is sindsdien weinig veranderd. Een leider die wil hervormen na een despotisch regime, intriges aan het hof, een machthebbende kliek en revolutionaire terroristen die een net zo despotische organisatiestructuur kenden klinken erg bekend. Aanrader voor als je meer wilt weten over Russische politiek en de geschiedenis van dit land.

    • This book was rather disappointing. It does not offer any new startling material and was written in Radzinsky's usual idiosyncratic style, which I find annoying. The title deliberately conveys the message that neither his son, Alexander III nor his grandson, Nikolai II had any distinguishing merits in their own right. In addition, it should be noted that Alexander II was actually the Emperor of Imperial Russia and not its Tsar!

    • I finished this book on the plane back home from Ohio. I think this book might have been poorly translated- the language was like a college thesis at times. I was effected by the portrayal of Alexander II as liberal Russia's last hope and the book helped me realize that 19th-century Russia was far from a stable and unchallenged monolithic edifice. That powerful message shone through the sometimes distracting writing.

    • Russian history is tragic and the author has done a great job in making this a personalized story. Terrorism is something which has been mindless and the Russian Lincoln Tsar ensured through the temptation of reforms and then counter-reforms encouraged the formation of terrorists. These terrorists in Alexander II were the forerunners of the future terrorists and communists Stalin and Lenin.

    • This book does not give you too much information how it was at the court or in the liife or Alexander II of Russia. But it does about his times and his enemies. Hereby it gives a good insight about a man at the times he lived in. On the other hand I would have liked to learn a little bit more about Alexander himself. Still, it is an interesting book!

    • Not impressed by the story telling. Even though the book title is the last great tsar, I could not get that feeling of greatness from the book. But I did learn a lot about that turbulent era and could not help wondering what if the seventh attempt were not successful and there were a constitution. What would have become of Russia?

    • I've read several of radzinky's books on the romanovs and have found them all very engaging and fascinating. This one however felt heavily laden with historical detours. They provided a lot of context but after a while I was frustrated with them and wanted to get back to Alexander's life.

    • I didn't finish this book, because this is NOT a historical biography! Purple prose (might be the translation, but I have my doubts). Inch'Allah, which is billed as a novel, was a better piece of history writing than this. To be avoided!!!

    • Edvard Radzinsky is a stellar biographer whose dramatic background shines through in this work. It doesn't hurt that his subject matter is the life of one of Russia's most enigmatic autocrats.

    • Did not finish. Book spent a lot of time on the revolutionaries who opposed Alexander, without spending enough time Alexander himself. Felt like it wandered.

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