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Nicholas and Alexandra [Paperback]

Robert K. Massie
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 1 2000

The story of the love that ended an empire

In this commanding book, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Robert K. Massie sweeps readers back to the extraordinary world of Imperial Russia to tell the story of the Romanovs’ lives: Nicholas’s political naïveté, Alexandra’s obsession with the corrupt mystic Rasputin, and little Alexis’s brave struggle with hemophilia. Against a lavish backdrop of luxury and intrigue, Massie unfolds a powerful drama of passion and history—the story of a doomed empire and the death-marked royals who watched it crumble.


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Nicholas and Alexandra + Peter the Great: His Life and World + The Romanovs: The Final Chapter
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Review

“A larger-than-life drama.”—Saturday Review

“A moving, rich book . . . [This] revealing, densely documented account of the last Romanovs focuses not on the great events . . . but on the royal family and their evil nemesis. . . . The tale is so bizarre, no melodrama is equal to it.”—Newsweek

“A wonderfully rich tapestry, the colors fresh and clear, every strand sewn in with a sure hand. Mr. Massie describes those strange and terrible years with sympathy and understanding. . . . They come vividly before our eyes.”—The New York Times
 
“An all-too-human picture . . . Both Nicholas and Alexandra with all their failings come truly alive, as does their almost storybook romance.”—Newsday
 
“A magnificent and intimate picture . . . Not only the main characters but a whole era become alive and comprehensible.”—Harper’s

About the Author

Robert K. Massie was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and studied American history at Yale and European history at Oxford, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. He was president of the Authors Guild from 1987 to 1991. His books include Nicholas and Alexandra, Peter the Great: His Life and World (for which he won a Pulitzer Prize for biography), The Romanovs: The Final Chapter, Dreadnought: Britain, Germany, and the Coming of the Great War, Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea, and Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman.

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First Sentence
FROM the Baltic city of St. Petersburg, built on a river marsh in a far northern corner of the empire, the Tsar ruled Russia. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad end of a kind man June 25 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Why go for fiction when you can get a riveting true story like what happened to the Romanovs? The book starts with Nicholas' unexpected coronation as Tsar in 1894, and slowly but surely the story unfolds towards the gruesome end 25 years later. The saddening thing about this episode in history is that despite Rasputin, despite the heir Alexis with his hemophilia, despite the Empress' foilies, I left the book believing that the Tsar and his whole family got killed because he was just too kind and humble to make the tough decisions that Russia required during those turbulent times. If you consider Stalin, a cynic may argue that evil pays.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
First reccomended to me by a Professor of mine, Massie's work reveals all the intimate details and crucial historical story lines that even a novice of the Russian Revolutionary history would grasp to understand the life of the last Imperial Highnesses. From the infamous Bloody Sunday to the love letters that were exchanged between Nicholas and Alexandra the book was clearly exhaustively researched and also gives a touch of real emotion which is magnafied by the authors own personal experiences with the terrible disease of hemophelia. Grandoise as this story is it might well have been fiction, tragically it is not! As sad as the historical truths presented in the pages are, Massie writes words that flow and are easy to understand. I would reccomend this book for anyone looking for a story so incredible and emotionally raw that it had to be true or to anyone who wants to make some sense out of the mysticism of this part of intriging Russian history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and hugely enjoyable Aug. 27 2010
By C. J. Thompson TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Robert Massie can really write!

'Nicholas and Alexandra' is a thorough history. It has an impressive Bibliography with a lot of primary source material listed and the end notes meticulously cite the source references. One would usually expect such a book to be dry, dusty and dense but this one reads like a novel. Massie has a very easily fluid way of expressing himself and his prose is rich. Not only are his descriptions very visual, he is often able to communicate the atmosphere and tensions of the times and events. There is only one chapter where I found the writing got a bit slow and uninteresting (perhaps Massie didn't find this part of the story interesting himself), but I say that one out of thirty-four ain't bad.

My only quibble with the book is a minor one: frequently, Massie deals with one aspect of the history and then goes on to some other related topic. This necessitates a number of jumps back and forth in the chronology and, while it is not a bad way to tell the story, I found it threw me off ever so slightly at times and I had to go back to see what period was being discussed. It wasn't a major problem, at all, but maybe the jumps could have been a bit more deftly handled.

I found it interesting that Massie never yielded to temptation to speculate whether any of the supposed victims of the slaughter at the Ipatiev house actually survived and whether any of the claimants to being Anastasia or the Tsarevich were telling the truth. He flatly states that the entire party were killed on the spot and their bodies mostly destroyed before whatever was left was thrown down a mineshaft.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars July 26 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very interesting....
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Majestic Work of History March 31 2004
Format:School & Library Binding
"Nicholas and Alexandra" is a fantastic history book that I can thoroughly recommend to all readers. The book is truly "unputdownable" and if it were not a history book, it could almost have read as a novel.
The end of the Romanov dynasty is a work of tragedy. Here we have this closely bound intimate family playing out a drama against the backdrop of the First World War and the Russian Revolution. Yet tragedy almost becomes farce when the role of Rasputin is considered. The Czarina is quite spellbound by the man despite the damage that his decisions have for the family and the dynasty.
In "Nicholas and Alexandra", we see the unfolding of the downfall of autocracy which, in due course, would have been inevitable. The First World War simply accelerated the process. Yet while we should shed no tears for the fall of autocrats, the rise of an even more vile autocracy under Lenin heaps tragedy upon tragedy. The history of modern Russia is tragedy writ large.
Robert K Massie covers the events leading to the execution of the royal family in great detail but without ever deluging the reader with arcane facts that detract from the picture that he paints. The end result is a work of substance and colour.
I emphatically recommend this book to all readers of modern history. Robert K Massie has excelled!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Amazing March 16 2004
Format:Paperback
An excellent book about the story behind the Romanov family. It is very descriptive. It is a must read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book March 7 2004
Format:Paperback
The story of Nicholas and Alexandra the last Tsar And Tsarina of Russia is one of the most Tragic love stories the world has ever known. Their glorious begining and their horrifying end, still continues to facinate thousands of people today. This book is like a journey back through time, taking you directly into the world of the Russian Imperial family. It's actually like you are living their lives day by day.
Massie has done a wonderful job in depicting the life of Nicholas and Alexandra. The books text is well researched and easy to read. You can breeze from chapter to chapter with complete understanding of what you have read. The text is also well balanced between political aspects of their life as well as personal aspects. Some romanov books are way to political and deal to much with the difficulties concerning government in Russia. The book stays on task and makes you want to keep reading.
I could honestly not put the book down, it's really that good. It's so rich and well written. The only part of the book that can be misleading is the final chapter, when the family is actually executed. But that can be forgiven for when this book was originally written there was not alot of information avalible concerning their death. Massie makes up for this in his book THE ROMANOVS: THE FINAL CHAPTER, which is another must read. No Romanov library is complete without this book. to read it is to grasp a better understanding of Nicholas and Alexandra.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of all Romanov Books
This book seems to be the basis of every Romanov book that has been published since it first came out, it is much more based on solid history, than the rumors that seem to make up... Read more
Published on Jan. 15 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars A Novel History
Personal Background & Questions: After joining the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church in the mid 1990's & marring a Russian wife in the late 1990's, I needed to read a good... Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2004 by PhiloX
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and warm, with human feeling
I first read this book many years ago. Since that time, it has always been a favorite of mine. Massie does an excellent job of portraying the vast sweep of Russian and world... Read more
Published on Dec 22 2003 by debeehr
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!
"Nicholas and Alexandra" was truly captivating. The vivid imagery sweeps one back to the final days of Imperial Russia; of balls, galas, war, revolution, an finally murder. Read more
Published on July 12 2003 by Arturo M-V.
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece
This book is an absolute must for anyone who wants to learn more about the last days of the Romanovs. Massie has outdone himself. Read more
Published on March 23 2003 by Ceridwen
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Excellent
The story of Nicholas and Alexandra has all the elements of a great novel: complex characters, plot twists, and an exciting conclusion. But, it's all true. Read more
Published on March 17 2003 by Randyll McDermott
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