Author Topic: Best book for beginners  (Read 5382 times)

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HeatherMcH

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Best book for beginners
« on: January 07, 2015, 01:40:01 PM »
I have just recently become interested in Imperial Russian history, especially the last tsar and the events leading up to the revolution.  What books would be the best to start with for a good overview of the Romanovs?  Should I start with memoirs or more scholarly accounts? 

Offline Kassafrass

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Re: Best book for beginners
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2015, 02:10:26 PM »
I believe that depends on what exactly draws you to them! Are you interested in the political side? Or perhaps the people inside the lavish palaces? I have personally always been into the less political side. I want to know about them as they were; Nicholas the person, Alexandra the person. I personally feel that learning about them and their backgrounds will help when you go on to learning more about their decisions about the revolution.

Unfortunately, I am not able to really recommend specific books to you. Although I've been interested in them since I was little, I've only recently begun to collect books on the family. From what I have seen, "Love, Power and Tragedy" is a very good one.
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HeatherMcH

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Re: Best book for beginners
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2015, 02:28:32 PM »
Thanks!  I am most interested in learning about them as people at the moment.

Offline Kassafrass

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Re: Best book for beginners
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2015, 02:56:56 PM »
In that case, the memoir's of the people that knew them best would be a great place to start. You can find some of them online here http://www.alexanderpalace.org/
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Offline Ally Kumari

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Re: Best book for beginners
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2015, 03:53:49 PM »
Well, my first Romanov book was "Alexandra" by Elisabeth Herresh, but I am not sure if it was ever published in English. In any case, it is not the best book out there.

I think I would recommend

* Nicholas and Alexandra by R.K. Massie
* The Last Empress by Greg King
* Romanovs: Love, Power and Tragedy by A. Bokhanov (easy to read, accurate and STUFFED with photos, not a cheap one though)
* Fate of the Romanovs by G. King and P. Wilson
* Romanov Autumn by C. Zeepvat

Offline Maria Sisi

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Re: Best book for beginners
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2015, 04:57:14 PM »
Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra by Peter Kurth

A coffee table size book that's really cheap (a used hardcover copy on amazon is less then $10!!!). Its basically the little sister of the way more expensive "Love, Power and Tragedy."

It tells the whole story of Nicholas and Alexandra from their childhoods to their murder. Its filled with MANY MANY photos and information! Although beware Mr. Kurth slipped in the whole Anna Anderson is Anastasia thing at the end.


Offline Kassafrass

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Re: Best book for beginners
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2015, 01:02:14 PM »
It is indeed hard to find a list of good Romanov books without Massie's "Nicholas and Alexandra" included
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Offline edubs31

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Re: Best book for beginners
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2015, 01:36:48 PM »
It is indeed hard to find a list of good Romanov books without Massie's "Nicholas and Alexandra" included

Agreed. Almost like reading the Old Testament. Sort of required reading for anyone serious about getting into the subject. Yes it's a little out of date, but also beautifully written.

I enjoyed Virginia Rounding's "Alix & Nicky: The Passion of the Last Tsar & Tsarina". Not definitive by any means but a pretty easy read for beginners, touching on all the key topics. It's a nice update of sorts to the original Massie book.
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Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Best book for beginners
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2015, 04:31:59 PM »
On my postings on this section there are lists of books on mainly the military/political sides of things. You might want to visit a local library or two and see what they have.

HeatherMcH

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Re: Best book for beginners
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2015, 08:17:32 PM »
Thank you, everyone, for your responses and recommendations.  I checked and my library has quite a few of these titles, so I'm really eager to start reading.

Offline Padawan Ryan

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Re: Best book for beginners
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2015, 05:27:31 AM »
It is indeed hard to find a list of good Romanov books without Massie's "Nicholas and Alexandra" included

That was the first one I read, once upon a time. I had taken it out of the library on a monthly basis when I was eleven and twelve.
Padawan of the V'tosh Ka'tur. Social Work graduate, History student.

Offline Ally Kumari

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Re: Best book for beginners
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2015, 06:43:03 AM »
I should probably ad my first book which I read on the subject, which was "Alexandra":Tragik und Ende der letzte Zarin" by Elisabeth Herresh, however the original is in German (I read a Czech translation). Apart from Radzinski´s three books (The Last Tsar, Rasputin File and Alexander II) it is really the only Romanov related book that came out in this country. Anyway, here is an Amazon link http://www.amazon.de/Alexandra-Tragik-Ende-letzten-Zarin/dp/3784460305

Looking back at it, after having read loads of better books, it seems really quite basic, but for a beginner it is suitable.

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Re: Best book for beginners
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2015, 12:06:36 PM »
One that's likely to be overlooked by adult readers is The Family Romanov, by Candace Fleming. Don't let the fact that it's aimed at a younger audience deter you -- it's a concise, well-researched, and compelling introduction not only to Nicholas II's family, but also the living conditions and political situation that propelled ordinary Russians to overthrow the Romanovs.
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
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