Picture of author.

Robert K. Massie (1929–2019)

Forfatter af Nicholas and Alexandra

19+ Works 13,212 Members 290 Reviews 32 Favorited

Om forfatteren

Robert Kinloch Massie III (1929-) is an American historian, author, Pulitzer Prize recipient. He has devoted much of his career to studying the House of Romanov, Russia's royal family from 1613-1917. Massie was born in Lexington, Kentucky. He spent much of his youth in Nashville, Tennessee and vis mere currently resides in the village of Irvington, New York. He studied United States and modern European history at Yale and Oxford University, respectively, on a Rhodes Scholarship. Massie went to work as a journalist for Newsweek from 1959 to 1962 and then took a position at the Saturday Evening Post. In 1969 he wrote and published his breakthrough book, Nicholas and Alexandra. Massie was the president of the Authors Guild from 1987 to 1991, and he still serves as a council member. While president of the Guild, he famously called on authors to boycott any store refusing to carry Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. His title Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012. (Bowker Author Biography) vis mindre

Omfatter også følgende navne: MASSIE ROBERT K., Robert K. Massie


Værker af Robert K. Massie

Associated Works

Satte nøgleord på

Almen Viden

Land (til kort)
Versailles, Kentucky, USA
Irvington, New York, USA
Yale University



In the All-Russian contest “Name of Russia”, aimed to elect the most notable personality in Russian history by voting via the Internet, radio and television Peter I finished fifth. Ahead of another person who radically altered the destiny of Russia after him – Vladimir Lenin. The guy who brought here Christianity – Prince Vladimir I – and the guy responsible for the downfall of the USSR - Mikhail Gorbachev – didn’t even make it to Top 50 (though Boris Yeltsin did). This illustrates the importance of Peter’s figure even in contemporary Russia, 300 years after his untimely death.

This was my second book by R. Massie, first being a wonderful tome on Catherine II another of only three monarchs so styled since the establishment of tzardom in Russia in XV century. What I can surmise upon reading these two books – on Catherine and Peter – the author loved Russia. I would go even further proposing that he was a very pleasant person to be with. The way he depicts characters, no matter how repulsive their deeds are, normally doesn’t provoke rage or any other negative emotions. Probably you’d feel sorry and upset by person’s bad behavior. And if a person possesses some commendable traits or did something good, you’d end up his Facebook fan for life. Mr. Massie probably was adored by his students. He’s not only a great narrator, but a very savvy psychologist too.

Time and again you will run into some tangential figures main protagonist meets. Their names may sound remotely familiar, but all of us are a bit rusty on school history, aren’t we? Don’t panic, you’ll be provided with a brief, but yet sufficient enough description of a person, age, event, trade, country, etc…

While reading it, I simultaneously read and watched some Russian historians talking on Peter I. It looks like Mr. Massie covered every interesting story and fact of Tzar’s life. Bravo! His warmness to Russia still baffles me, if we factor in the time of writing – late 1970s – Cold War’s apogee! It’s as apolitical treatment of history as it should be. An example for all historians.

P.s. In spite of making it to top 5 Russia’s historical heroes public opinion on the Tzar is still divided.
… (mere)
Den85 | 32 andre anmeldelser | Jan 3, 2024 |
A veeery detailed account. But it looks like the author sympathizes with his heroine.
Den85 | 143 andre anmeldelser | Jan 3, 2024 |
3.5 stars

The animated film Anastasia got the entire story wrong, sadly. The writers didn't even try for accuracy, apparently - very sad to me, because I really liked that movie.

Massie details the true story here, and though I normally don't like history texts, I liked this one. His writing is very readable, and I learned a lot. (Particularly about the events leading up to the war; and about Rasputin and how he came to be involved with the Imperial family. I didn't even know that Nicholas and Alexandra had a son, let alone that he suffered from hemophilia.)

At over 500 pages, though, it was still far too long for me. I felt that 50-100 pages could have easily been omitted by paring down unnecessary details of persons not central to the story.

Also, I was quite appalled when Massie at one point described Rasputin as having "good-natured aggression" right after stating that he would grab women and "start undoing buttons" without any kind of preamble or permission. Rasputin was accused of attempted rape many times, and it is not okay to write this violence off. There is no such thing as "good-natured" sexual assault or harassment.
… (mere)
RachelRachelRachel | 48 andre anmeldelser | Nov 21, 2023 |
Most of the book had me very interested. I don't know much about Russian history and it was nice to learn so many new things. I had to force myself near the end unfortunately. Also, I was not at all interested in the sexual deviancy of a philosopher. It wasn't necessary to add those details, in my opinion.
mintymoo5 | 143 andre anmeldelser | Nov 13, 2023 |



Måske også interessante?

Associated Authors


Also by

Diagrammer og grafer