Alexander Palace Forum

Books and Films about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Topic started by: Perislov on March 15, 2013, 08:08:56 AM

Title: The Last Tsar By Donald Crawford
Post by: Perislov on March 15, 2013, 08:08:56 AM
I haven't seen a topic started for this book yet, so I figured I would start one.

I am close to finishing The Last Tsar by Donald Crawford. As I have never read the author's previous work (Michael & Natasha), which was written with his wife or spent a great deal of time studying the details of Michael Alexandrovich's life, a lot of this information is somewhat revelatory to me. I will give more detail when I have finished, but was wondering if any other's had read this and their thoughts on it? It's not a difficult read.
Title: Re: The Last Tsar By Donald Crawford
Post by: felix on March 16, 2013, 07:12:14 AM

 I really enjoyed reading a book devoted to Michael A. I also found much new information.

Certainly a book worth reading. The war years & the time in Perm were full of interesting stories.

Title: Re: The Last Tsar By Donald Crawford
Post by: Perislov on March 16, 2013, 09:52:08 AM
I just finished it last night, and agree that it is well worth reading. As I said in my previous post, I have not read Michael & Natasha, so much of the information wasn't all that familiar to me except the basic facts of Michael's life.

The author has little if any love for the actions of N&A, specifically Alexandra, which is understandable, and this book leaves an unfavorable impression of her as a power hungry schemer. On that note, I wouldn't recommend it as someone's introduction to the entire Romanov family, but it fills in some important gaps and I would recommend to anyone who already is familiar with the people and what caused the fall of the monarchy. At the same time, I feel that there is a lot more still to learn about Michael Alexandrovich from scholars, and his life should be examined more thoroughly. This book serves as a good starting point and introduction to his life, if a bit uncritical. My only real gripe is that Michael comes across as too perfect, and to "born for the job" and doesn't give any voice to those who felt he wasn't ready, such as his own mother.

I do understand the argument the author makes about Michael being "The Last Tsar/Emporer." He acknowledges that it may not have been a legally sound abdication on Nicholas behalf, while arguing that there was nothing anyone could do about it afterwards, even citing Kirill's proclamation, which was made days after Michael was declared legally dead, as the reference to Michael as being the last occupier of the throne (though the author is not a fan of Kirill or his granddaughter nor their claims).

Michael's own thoughts on laws and the government are fascinating, and such a contrast from the sheer backwardness of Nicholas and Alexandra. After finishing, I tend to agree that Michael was likely the best suited to rule Russia during those turbulent times.
Title: Re: The Last Tsar By Donald Crawford
Post by: bongo on March 23, 2014, 11:27:23 AM
"No trees should have died for this crap" is the opinion of royal expert Marlene Koenig ( after picking up a few minor errors, and disputing the royal succession but that's something no one agrees on.  Crawford replies in the comments section and bitch session results. Beyond this nitpicking she doesn't attempt to give the reasons for her opinion, so I was left presuming that her review was spiked by a bad hair day, professional jealously, or something else. Given the original research that has gone into the book, and the fresh information it provides, it seems highly unfair.
Title: Re: The Last Tsar By Donald Crawford
Post by: Zella on April 09, 2014, 10:09:51 PM
I'm glad trees died for this book.  Its not perfect, but I found the different perspective, aside from the usual N&A point of view, interesting.  Would buy it again, not a waste of $$$ or (ha!) trees.
Title: Re: The Last Tsar By Donald Crawford
Post by: bongo on April 10, 2014, 04:26:19 AM
Given her hysterical reaction to the book, I'd be intrigued to know what's Koenig axe to grind is.

I wonder what she thought of the surreal biography of the Kyrills A Fatal Passion by Sullivan! If you haven't read the review thread on Amazon for that one, it's hilarious. A full on war!
Title: Re: The Last Tsar By Donald Crawford
Post by: Perislov on April 18, 2014, 10:37:52 AM
I'll have to check it out. I find much enjoyment from all these pretender supporters arguing over semantics in regards to Cyril. Safe to say I have never been a fan of his branch.