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Topics - Lee_Hutch

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Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / Former People
« on: February 19, 2017, 03:56:32 PM »
I can't believe I missed Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy when it came out, but I've just finished reading it. I found it very, very interesting. Naturally, given the subject, arrests, gulags, and executions play an important role. But what struck me the most was the sheer endurance and perseverance showed by many of those detailed in the book. It is tragic, but at the same time it speaks to the human ability to fight through adversity.

While I read it, part of me wanted to reach through the pages of time and shake the people and yell "Just get out!" But if I'm honest with myself, I don't think I'd flee my own country either. Russia was their home and many made the decision to try and ride out the storm, often at the cost of their lives and certainly of their fortunes.

Hutch

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Maria Nicholaievna / Maria Started My Interest
« on: February 18, 2017, 03:44:54 PM »
I was 12 or 13 years old when I first saw the news that the grave of all but two of the Romanovs had been discovered. On one of the news stories, they flashed pictures on the screen of each of the Tsar's children. For some reason, I found myself drawn towards the photo of Maria. I have no idea why, exactly, but she seemed to reach out to me more than any of the others. Having grown up during the tail end of the Cold War, I had very little knowledge of Russia other than what they told us in school. But it sparked an interest which continues to this day. Suddenly, I wanted to learn as much about Russian History and the Romanov Family as I could. I ended up getting a history degree followed by a graduate degree in history. I even learned Russian (though I can read it better than I can speak it).

I never intended on teaching. I just wanted the degrees to further my own knowledge. Instead, I was a police officer. A few years ago, I was injured on the job and pensioned out. But because I paid attention to a news story decades ago, I had a degree I could put to use. Now I teach history at a community college.

Though it may sound strange, I credit Maria Nikolaevna for that. I feel, well, grateful to her in a way. She sparked my interest in history and sent me down a path that I'm still following. I do not consider myself an expert on Russia, the Romanovs, or much of anything, really. But to this day I still feel myself drawn more towards her than the others. I guess we all have that moment where we became interested with this subject, and that's mine.   

Hutch

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