Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Nov 8 2011
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PRAISE FOR CATHERINE THE GREAT
"Massie once again delivers a masterful, intimate, and tantalizing portrait of a majestic monarch."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"[A] rich, nuanced examination of Russia's lone female leader..."—The Daily Beast
“What Catherine the Great offers is a great story in the hands of a master storyteller.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Dense and detailed, enriched by pages of full-color illustrations, Massie’s latest will transport history lovers.” —People
“What a woman, what a world, what a biography.” —USA Today
“[Massie] hasn’t lost his mojo. . . . a consistently nimble and buoyant performances . . . [Massie] has always been a biographer with the instincts of a novelist. He understands plot—fate—as a function of character, and the narrative perspective he establishes and maintains, a vision tightly aligned with that of his subject, convinces a reader he’s not so much looking at Catherine the Great as he is out of her eyes. . . juicy and suspenseful.” — Kathryn Harrison, The New York Times Book Review
“A meticulously, dramatically rendered biography…” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“What a Woman!” —Elle magazine
“In Catherine the Great, Massie has created a sensitive and compelling portrait not just of a Russian titan, but also of a flesh-and-blood woman.”—Newsweek
“[A] meticulously detailed work about Catherine and her world…Massie makes Catherine’s story as gripping as that of any novel. His book does full justice to a complex and fascinating woman and to the age in which she lived.” — Historical Novels Review
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 previous 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, and Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
In my opinion, here is what they share in common:
1. Their authors rely on a wealth of reputable sources, all duly cited.
2. Those who read these books will probably learn about as much as they want and need to know about the subject.
3. Their authors write very well. For example, the presentation of the material flows smoothly.
Other reviewers already have (by now) covered most of the main points to be made. I now share these:
1. I have always been intrigued by certain women throughout history who were great leaders. They include Catherine, of course, as well as Elizabeth I. How did they manage the power of their gifts for leadership and management with their human needs? What were the defining moments in the development as both leader and person?
2. To what extent is each a product of her age? Emblematic of her age? A new paradigm of her age?
3. What were the nature and extent of impact of her leadership in her own time? On subject generations? What then is her defining heritage?
I rate Robert Massie Five Stars on all counts.
Catherine often relied on her noble favourites, most notably Grigory Orlov (whose brother Alexei Grigoryevich Orlov's victory at Chesme Bay in June 1770 gave Russia a foothold in the Black Sea) and Grigory Potemkin (governor of Russia's new southern provinces and responsible for the annexation of the Crimea).
Catherine presided over the age of the Russian enlightenment, founding the Smolny Institute in 1764 (the first state-financed higher education institution for women in Europe), corresponded with Denis Diderot and Voltaire, and ruled as an enlightened despot.
`She was a majestic figure in the age of monarchy; the only woman to equal her on a European throne was Elizabeth I of England.Read more ›
I was not disappointed: the lively pace rich with incident, the sense of insight into the characters of the key players and the manner in which he placed it all in the broader context of Europe during the Enlightenment all worked together to create a fascinating and satisfying read. He admits he fell a little under Catherine's spell himself, but it seems to have helped him to paint a colourful and vibrant portrait.
Two thumbs up.
Most recent customer reviews
It's good but not in the same league as Henri Troyat's biography of Catherine the Great.Published 29 days ago by Jerry Tutunjian
Mistake in rating - I meant 5 stars. A meaningful book that teaches much about the background to our present political situation.Published 3 months ago by Lucille Panet-Raymond
This is a fascinating story of probably the eighteenth century's most powerful woman. Massie is a wonderful writer who has mastered the art of narrative history. Read morePublished 12 months ago by R Helen
Very interesting read, fascinating historical account of events in Europe at that time.Published 14 months ago by Mike Evans
I knew little of Catherine the Great when I turned to page one. But as I read I came to
see that this lady was one of the greats of history. Read more
Couldn't put it down! WHAT a woman! Wept when she died. Genius - never been another like her, man or woman. She and Churchill would have got on well.Published 20 months ago by mysterylover
Catherine the Great was truly an incredible woman. Robert K. Massie did a great job of detailing her life in an interesting way. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Kelsi
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