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Rasputin : Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs
by Douglas Smith


Overview -

On the centenary of the death of Rasputin comes a definitive biography that will dramatically change our understanding of this fascinating figure

A hundred years after his murder, Rasputin continues to excite the popular imagination as the personification of evil.  Read more...


 
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    Rasputin (Paperback)
    Published: 2017-11-07
    Publisher: Picador USA
    $24.00
     
     
 
 

More About Rasputin by Douglas Smith
 
 
 
Overview

On the centenary of the death of Rasputin comes a definitive biography that will dramatically change our understanding of this fascinating figure

A hundred years after his murder, Rasputin continues to excite the popular imagination as the personification of evil. Numerous biographies, novels, and films recount his mysterious rise to power as Nicholas and Alexandra's confidant and the guardian of the sickly heir to the Russian throne. His debauchery and sinister political influence are the stuff of legend, and the downfall of the Romanov dynasty was laid at his feet.

But as the prizewinning historian Douglas Smith shows, the true story of Rasputin's life and death has remained shrouded in myth. A major new work that combines probing scholarship and powerful storytelling, Rasputin separates fact from fiction to reveal the real life of one of history's most alluring figures. Drawing on a wealth of forgotten documents from archives in seven countries, Smith presents Rasputin in all his complexity--man of God, voice of peace, loyal subject, adulterer, drunkard. Rasputin is not just a definitive biography of an extraordinary and legendary man but a fascinating portrait of the twilight of imperial Russia as it lurched toward catastrophe.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780374240844
  • ISBN-10: 0374240841
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publish Date: November 2016
  • Page Count: 848
  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Historical - General
Books > History > Russia & the Former Soviet Union

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-09-26
  • Reviewer: Staff

In this monumental and soul-shaking biography, historian and translator Smith (Former People) demystifies the figure of Grigory Rasputin a century after his gruesome murder in 1916 at age 47. He portrays the Siberian peasant and Romanov family confidante as earthy, complex, and innocent of the worst claims against him: that he was a German spy, royal seducer, and de facto head of state. Smith relies on diaries, letters, police files, and memoirs to dispel long-held rumors about Rasputins relationship with Czar Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra. With a Dostoyevskian flair for noir and obsession, Smith exposes the base motivations behind Rasputins enemiesincluding Duma members, church fathers, noble families, government ministers, and heads of secret policewhile being frank about his subjects love of Madeira and women. Smith expertly handles the intricacies of the salacious scandals that enveloped the empire in anti-Rasputin hysteria and that eerily presaged the fall of the Romanovs in 1917. Displaying commendable detective work and a firm understanding of the Russian silver age and the synod, Smith articulates even the most obscure cultural nuances with fluidity, sometimes slowing the pace but never losing his focus on his worthy and mesmerizing subject. Smiths depravity-laden history of turn-of-the-20th-century Russia hinges on his insightful readings of myth and motive, and their tragic consequences. (Nov.)

 
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