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.
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A Lot To Chew On
The book was quite long, but then, this is a definitive biography, so make sure you don't bite off more than you can chew! (I nearly did.) The only difficult part was I had to take a break in the middle of the book and came back to it a couple weeks later; it took some time before I could get back into the story and remember all the complex names and places and situations.
I have been to Russia, and to some of the locales mentioned in this book - the story came alive and transported me back to my time there, and the sense of history it gives.The detail was amazing. To nearly a dizzying effect.
No, but I thought he did a fine job.
The book is awesome, so please don't let my ambiguous comments turn you off - just be sure that you are WAY interested in Rasputin.
He was a man, and this is his story at last