Author Topic: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson  (Read 255414 times)

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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #135 on: November 11, 2004, 03:28:54 PM »
Quote

If there are documents there, I WILL read them, even if I have to break down the door to reach them! I'm not sure an email will cut it, I think a phone call is better. I will be more than willing to phone them and find out everything.


AnFan,  I just spoke to someone over at Yale, and apparently there are letters and such that we can see in their original form, unfortunately the photos they let the public see are only facsimiles... But I think still worthwhile to go! I just emailed you too.

You know, I just realized, we probably need a different  thread for this subject, as we have digressed from the original topic!  ;D

Offline Penny_Wilson

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #136 on: November 11, 2004, 05:07:08 PM »
Quote
I as talking about the full depositions of Gilliard, Bittner, Gibbes, and Kobylinsky he said he read. But yes, I want to read their unpublished letters and journals as well.


These statements -- and many, many others -- may be found in one or more of the surviving copies of the Sokolov Dossier.  Bearing in mind that not all copies of the Dossier are complete, there is a Sokolov Dossier in Michigan, at the Henry Ford Archives.  

Perhaps another road trip?   8)

"Don't do anything by half. If you love someone, love them with all your soul. When you go to work, work your ass off. When you hate someone, hate them until it hurts."  -- A Piece of Good Advice

Sometimes the truth hurts. And sometimes it feels real good. -- Henry Rollins

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #137 on: November 11, 2004, 05:54:04 PM »
Quote

... there is a Sokolov Dossier in Michigan, at the Henry Ford Archives.  

Perhaps another road trip?   8)



Hey, I've never been to Michigan, perhaps it's about time I paid a visit  8)  ;D I personally think it would be very cool to see Sokolov's dossier!  :o

Offline Laura Mabee

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #138 on: November 20, 2004, 02:52:04 PM »
*bump*
Sorry to bump this thread, but I thought I wouls post on it. I have to agree with AnastasiaFan on this one. I am glad that I read this thread because I have the same impressions she did on this book. And I appreciate her asking the questions, because I cannot usually phrase what I am thinking.

I am half-way through the book so far, maybe I'll finish this week  ;D

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #139 on: November 21, 2004, 12:21:38 PM »
Well, it seems that I must again be the real live toad in the imaginary garden...croak croak :-/

   I cannot tell you just how very disapointed I am in this book --but then again I am certain that I came to it with outlandishly high expectations...So far nothing that I have read in "Fate"  was not written better or more thoughtfully in other texts, but perhaps I read too much!
  ITEM * It's rife with typographical and basic conpositional errors --to wit-- in one passage an individual has "black hair" - in the NEXT sentence he has "red hair ?" Greg /Penny -- Had you no proof readers?
  ITEM * That NAOTMAA were not members of the healthiest or most emotionally balanced of families... Well Duh!
   Admittedly I am not quite halfway thru' -- so maybe I will be magically surprised in the next two pages or so...Hmmm.
 
rskkiya

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by rskkiya »

Offline Sarai

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #140 on: November 21, 2004, 03:23:27 PM »
I actually agree on a lot of the points AnastasiaFan was making on the book. I can understand why some of those who may not like the book may be afraid to post their criticisms on the board, since the majority of people here seem to be big fans of it and those who aren't appear to be in the minority. I will admit, I was reluctant to post my criticisms of it as well because of this.

I reviewed the book earlier in this thread and posted my comments on it. I think it was a well-researched book and I don't regret buying it, but I can certainly understand rskkiya's disappointment with it, because I started reading it with very high expectations as well, based on all the raves I had read about it here. It is a massive work and the authors are to be commended for their research and effort, but, yes, a lot of it I had already read before, especially the parts dealing with the family's life before Ekaterinburg. The strongest part of the book for me was the detailed account of the family's daily life in the House of Special Purpose and the account of their executions. These things were actually new to me and I had not read them before in such detail. Like, for instance, that Maria tried to make friends with a guard, and that all the girls except Olga sometimes socialized with them. It was also a relief to read that their life in that house was not as horrific as it had previously been made out to be. The minutely detailed account of the executions is extremely moving and powerful, as you realize exactly the tremendous amount of agony experienced in those dying, chaotic minutes. It was also interesting to read the politics behind the decision of granting them sainthood.

So those were the good points for me. But to return to my original point, I have to stand up and admit that I agree with AnastasiaFan that, upon initially reading the book, it did seem kind of one-sided in that it mostly showed the negative side of the family. Alexandra especially came off to me as extremely arrogant and unlikeable. Nicholas was a cold-blooded anti-Semite and Alexei a spoiled brat. The only sympathetic characters were the four daugthers, and this is because they seemed to be victimized, first by their parents' neglect and later possibly by the guards. I am open-minded and agree that the family were not always the perfect angels they were made out to be, but I also think that if their negatives are to be pointed out, then one should explain the possible reasons behind them. Yes, Alexandra was not nice to the guards, but I can't blame her, given they represented those who had just ruined their lives. Yes, Nicholas was anti-Semitic, but that was a product of his upbringing and of the times, and from what I've read on this board, in his last years he had actually relented quite a bit and both he and his wife were willing to concede more rights to their Jewish subjects. Yes, Alexei was a spoiled brat, but that's not surprising given the fact that he was rarely disciplined, and as he matured he changed into a nicer person who was much more sympathetic to those in need. Despite this, I can understand as someone pointed out here previously, that perhaps the book pointed out the more negative aspects of these people because everyone else has already glowingly covered all of their positive ones. But I think if someone is reading this book as an introduction to the Romanovs, their perspective on the family may be skewed and unbalanced.

Anyway, those are further thoughts I had on this. I have mixed feelings about the book, I liked some things and didn't agree with others, but such is the nature of such a work. If others are not enraptured by the book, they should speak up as well, because it's O.K. Everyone has different opinions and not everyone has to like it, even when it seems everyone else does.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Sarai_Porretta »

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #141 on: November 21, 2004, 03:42:34 PM »
Sarai, I agree that FOTR should not be the first book for anyone interested in reading about the last Romanovs. It is best for people who have read the works of Massie, Kurth, and perhaps a few others. And since FOTR is about a very specific situation--the final months of imprisonment--I would hope that it would be read only by people who already are familiar with the basic story and previous viewpoints. But since it is such a formidable work--with considerable footnoting and an extensive bibliography--I'm guessing that it isn't exactly the type of item to be prominently displayed in mainstream bookstores, or to be found in small public libraries or doctor's or dentist's waiting rooms! It's the type of book searched out by folks like us, who already have read a number of Romanov-oriented materials . . . and therefore its specific subject focus and less-than-comprehensive overview of Nicholas and Alexandra's earlier years should be okay. So although I found it a very emotionally tough read in parts, I'm glad to have read something about the family written in a different tone and from a different approach.

Offline JM

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #142 on: November 21, 2004, 05:20:53 PM »
I got it at McNally Robinson, which is probably the biggest bookstore in Saskatchewan. It's part of a chain as well.

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #143 on: November 21, 2004, 06:09:12 PM »
AnastasiaFan, my thoughts on FOTR are aligned with yours. I appreciate the incredible work that went into it, and have read most of Greg's books (even the one on Sharon Tate). In the seven months I've had the book, I've only gotten through 3/4's of it, in the same time reading several other books on the subject.

Respectfully, I don't find it balanced, and hope it isn't the first choice of too many new to the subject.

Sunny

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #144 on: November 21, 2004, 06:09:29 PM »
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FOTR should not be the first book for anyone interested in reading about the last Romanovs. It is best for people who have read the works of Massie, Kurth, and perhaps a few others. And since FOTR is about a very specific situation--the final months of imprisonment--I would hope that it would be read only by people who already are familiar with the basic story and previous viewpoints.


This is a good point. One of the reasons I liked FOTR was because it gave another side to the Romanov story that we all have been reading about for years in many other Romanov books. I saw it as a new a spin to the "old tale", so to speak, and this is why I found it very refreshing. But it didn't occur to me that someone who has never read any other Romanov books would see it in a very different way, and that the personality descriptions may come off skewed.

You're right, this book would not be appropriate as an introduction - I think it was meant as a more in depth study of the family, and others, - geared at a reader who is already familiar with and had long before formulated  opinions about the characters. So yes, when you look at it that way, it may come off as an unfair portrayal. But as someone who has been reading about the subject for a while, I only saw it as introduction to different facets of the personalities.

I agree though, I would not recommend this book as an introduction to the Romanovs, it is definitely more for long term fans.

Helen

Offline Laura Mabee

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #145 on: November 21, 2004, 08:10:52 PM »
It's great to see that htis threat is active again. I agree with many on here that this is definatly not the book for first time romophiles  ;D But I did find that I was dissapointed in knowing that they didn't put in the rest of Tatiana's letter about not having Alix around. I thought that the reason of "not enough space" was interesting. Since the rest of the letter, it seems, was only a sentence. ???

Offline Louise

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #146 on: November 21, 2004, 09:38:21 PM »
I've pulled this book out of the university library and I'm going to re-read it again. I will understand DNA, I will understand DNA--if I keep repeating that I will understand DNA.  :)

Louise
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Offline JM

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #147 on: November 22, 2004, 07:22:21 AM »
For what it's worth, my opinion of FOTR has changed. It seems to me that there was more of an incentive to prove that things "weren't all that great," rather than to just tell the truth. There's nothing that bothers me more than when somebody tries to convince me that I'm totally wrong, just for the sake of being a rebel or something. The truth about the Romanovs lies somewhere between Massie and Wilson & King. But I still love the book for it's wonderful description of the whole Ekaterinburg/murder/investigation part of the saga. There was probably only four pages that irritated me, and that's not bad.

Offline Richard_Cullen

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #148 on: November 22, 2004, 07:51:43 AM »
Things weren't all that great, in fact they were pretty diabolical, on anybody's measure.  What followed the Romanov's was worse, or the excesses of Stalin and to some extent Lenin were worse.

Nicholas II was a poor ruler, an extremely poor ruler and for which Alexandra must accept some blame.  Their almost blind belief in the 'divine right of kings' and autocracy where out of date even in late 1800s, early 1900s.  I have just re read A Life Long Passion and it is clear from one of the letters that Alexandra holds out hope for this autocracy to continue into Alexei's reign, if he were ever to be crowned monarch.

But the dreadful suppression of the 1905 Revolution and the punitive measures taken in its aftermath are a testament to poor leadership.  Pogroms against the Jews etc.  Nicholas could have chnaged it if he had really believed and committed himself to democracy and given the Duma real power.

Robert Service's new book on Stalin is quite insightful around this period.

As an aside I don't think that Greg or Penny are trying to tell anybody to think anything, I believe they are recording the facts.  As with all historical research you can either accept them or reject them.

Richard
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Ere slumber’s chain hath bound me,
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Of other days around me.

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rskkiya

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #149 on: November 22, 2004, 10:57:23 AM »
   My deep frustration with this work lies beyond its numerous "typo's" and conpositional failures to its promise of "shocking new information"... Where oh where could that information be? I still haven't found anything here  I didn't already know...

   I am still uncertain why King and Wilson still keep the old "Anastasia survived" dream alive...Ah well back to the book. :(

rskkiya
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by rskkiya »