‘A timely and important book . . . he brings to it rare clarity and common sense. His book is a fast-paced account of the last sixteen months of the tsar’s life; brief, sharp, but laced with well-judged feeling for the dramas of the time.’ Catherine Merridale, Observer In March 1917, Nicholas II, the last Tsar of All the Russias, abdicated and the dynasty that had ruled an empire for three hundred years was forced from power by revolution. In this masterful and forensic study, Robert Service examines the last year Nicholas's reign and the months between that momentous abdication and his death, with his family, in Ekaterinburg in July 1918. Drawing on the Tsar's own diaries and other hitherto unexamined contemporary records, The Last of the Tsars reveals a man who was almost entirely out of his depth, perhaps even willfully so. It is also a compelling account of the social, economic and political foment in Russia in the aftermath of Alexander Kerensky's February Revolution, the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917 and the beginnings of Lenin's Soviet republic.
A figure surrounded by myth and speculation, at the center of one of history's most cataclysmic events--the Russian Revolution--Nicholas II remains haunting and enigmatic. Now one of France's most eminent historians presents a biography that goes beyond the lies and half-lies surrounding Nicholas's reign to provide an evocative portrait of this most mysterious ruler. Illustrations.
In this biography of Tsar Teh-yun, centenarian poet, calligrapher, and qin master, Professor Bell Yung tells the story of a life steeped in the refined arts faithful to the traditional way of the Chinese literati. Set in the two cities of Shanghai and Hong Kong, this book recounts the experiences of an individual who lived through war, displacement, exile, and unrequited longing for home and for a style of living lost forever. Yet Madame Tsar sustained, as one of its last exemplars, much of that style of living despite being a woman in the largely male world of the refined arts. The author weaves a picture of an extraordinary but also tragic figure: extraordinary as daughter, wife, mother, and a celebrated musician, poet, and calligrapher; tragic as a member of the literati exiled from Shanghai to Hong Kong and always longing for the lost world of the refined arts. She was known particularly for her accomplishments as a teacher and performer on the qin – instrument par excellence of the literati. The book delves into her teaching method and musical style to a degree rarely found in the literature of this kind, and is thus an important contribution to musicological study. Through this life of one member of China's last generation of literati, Professor Yung provides rich material for anyone interested in the cultural and social history of twentieth-century China, especially for those with a special interest in qin music, or the place of women in this period.
After stealing a diamond with a ghoulish legacy from a ruthless business man, the person Interpol has ranked as the King of Hearts (Larceny, theft, and antiquities smuggling) in their card deck of most wanted criminals, a person known only as N. Kermin finds that their customarily flawless getaway has been impeded by a shadowy man in a fedora with a pistol and an ultimatum: steal a state of the art computer encryption program for him, or else. Shaken by this near brush with death, a longtime companion, William Cardinal takes notice of Kermin’s subtle but abrupt change in demeanor and soon discovers that his friend has been keeping a hidden avocation. Despite the breach of trust, Cardinal agrees to help seize the cipher and sabotage it with the aim of uncovering anything they can use to their advantage and hopefully deal lethal blow to the fedora topped man and whatever organization he represents. Struggling to define their friendship in light of this revelation, the two must now rely on one another if they wish to survive not just the heist of a lifetime but evade an army ex special forces security agents, out wit potential spies in their midst’s, elude a pair of the finest private dicks a billionaire can buy, fend off the wrath of an invisible criminal empire and dodge an assassin’s cold retribution.
Alexei Romanov, heir to the Russian throne, is in deadly danger. It¹s 1916, the struggling Russian people are tired of war and are blaming their Romanov rulers for it, and some are secretly plotting to murder the young heir and his family. But nobody outside the palace knows that Alexei suffers from a terrible bleeding disease, hemophilia, which threatens to finish him off even before the family¹s enemies can. The only person able to help Alexei is the evil and powerful religious mystic Rasputin -- and now Rasputin is trying to kill him too! Desperate, Alexei flees through time to New York City in 2010, using a method taught to him by the mad monk himself. In New York, Alexei meets smart and sassy Varda Rosenberg, and discovers she is a distant cousin. Varda is working on a gene therapy cure for hemophilia, as the disease still runs in the family. When Alexei learns that history shows that his entire family will be assassinated in 1918, he and Varda travel back in time to the Russian Revolution, with Rasputin hot on their heels. Will they be able to rescue Alexei¹s family before it¹s too late? Staton Rabin lets Alexei tell his own riveting story in a rousing adventure with stunning surprises -- a movingly authentic look at royalty and revolution in the days of the tsars.
(18711929) The Age of Progress covers the latter decades of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th. Building on the advances of the industrial revolution, this "post-revolutionary" period is similarly defined by remarkable technological and industrial innovation. An era of firstssteel bridges, sewing machines, bicycles, typewriters, radios, automobiles, airplanes, electric light bulbs, the telephone, photography, and the first motion picturethe Age of Progress gave birth to unprecedented modes of productivity, transportation, and communication. Thomas Alva Edison, Wilbur and Orville Wright, and Charles Darwin are among the historic figures discussed. Special emphasis is given to the sociology of industrial advancementmost notably the development of leisure. Challenging map exercises and provocative review questions encourage meaningful reflection and historical analysis. Tests and answer keys included.
Three Centuries of Autocracy, Debauchery, Betrayal, Murder, and Madness from Romanov Russia
Author: Michael Farquhar
Publisher: Random House
“Michael Farquhar doesn’t write about history the way, say, Doris Kearns Goodwin does. He writes about history the way Doris Kearns Goodwin’s smart-ass, reprobate kid brother might. I, for one, prefer it.”—Gene Weingarten, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and Washington Post columnist Scandal! Intrigue! Cossacks! Here the world’s most engaging royal historian chronicles the world’s most fascinating imperial dynasty: the Romanovs, whose three-hundred-year reign was remarkable for its shocking violence, spectacular excess, and unimaginable venality. In this incredibly entertaining history, Michael Farquhar collects the best, most captivating true tales of Romanov iniquity. We meet Catherine the Great, with her endless parade of virile young lovers (none of them of the equine variety); her unhinged son, Paul I, who ordered the bones of one of his mother’s paramours dug out of its grave and tossed into a gorge; and Grigori Rasputin, the “Mad Monk,” whose mesmeric domination of the last of the Romanov tsars helped lead to the monarchy’s undoing. From Peter the Great’s penchant for personally beheading his recalcitrant subjects (he kept the severed head of one of his mistresses pickled in alcohol) to Nicholas and Alexandra’s brutal demise at the hands of the Bolsheviks, Secret Lives of the Tsars captures all the splendor and infamy that was Imperial Russia. Praise for Secret Lives of the Tsars “An accessible, exciting narrative . . . Highly recommended for generalists interested in Russian history and those who enjoy the seamier side of past lives.”—Library Journal (starred review) “An excellent condensed version of Russian history . . . a fine tale of history and scandal . . . sure to please general readers and monarchy buffs alike.”—Publishers Weekly “Tales from the nasty lives of global royalty . . . an easy-reading, lightweight history lesson.”—Kirkus Reviews “Readers of this book may get a sense of why Russians are so tolerant of tyrants like Stalin and Putin. Given their history, it probably seems normal.”—The Washington Post From the Trade Paperback edition.