The Last Tsar; The Life and Death of Nicholas II

New York, N.Y. Doubleday, 1992. Fifth Printing [stated]. Hardcover. xii, [11], 462 pages. Illustrations. Genealogical chart. Maps. Includes Acknowledgments, Prologue, Epilogue, Afterword, Appendix, Selected Bibliography and Index. Chapters include Leafing Through the Tsar's Diaries; The Death of Nicholas and Alexandra; and The Secret of the Ipatiev Night. Edvard Stanislavovich Radzinsky (born September 23, 1936) is a Russian playwright, television personality, screenwriter, and the author of more than forty history books. He has specialized in books about figures and times of Russian history. Since the 1990s, he has written the series Mysteries of History. Books translated into English include his biographies of Tsars Nicholas II and Alexander II, Rasputin, and Joseph Stalin. His book Stalin: The First In-depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents from Russia's Secret Archives (1997) was based on research in Russian and Soviet archives made newly available after 1991. He explored numerous controversies about Joseph Stalin, including the existence of a fuller text of Lenin's Testament, the alleged involvement of Stalin as an agent of the Tsarist secret police, and the role of Stalin in the death of his wife and the murder of Sergey Kirov. According to Radzinsky, Stalin was poisoned by order of Lavrentiy Beria. His book includes an interview with a former bodyguard of Stalin, who stated that on the night of Stalin's death, the bodyguards were relieved of duty by an NKVD officer named Khrustalev. This same officer was briefly mentioned in Memories, the memoir of Stalin's daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva. The execution of Tsar Nicholas II and his family at the hands of revolutionaries in 1918 is one of the pivotal events of the twentieth century, an event that brought the three-hundred-year rule of the house of Romanov to a brutal and tragic end and set the tone for the Stalinist atrocities that would follow. The truth behind these murders has long remained hidden. Now, noted Russian playwright and historian Edvard Radzinsky unearths solutions to many of the questions that have remained unanswered since the terrible events in Ekaterinburg on the night of July 16-17, 1918. Mining sources long unavailable, he creates both a fascinating portrait of the monarch and a minute-by-minute account of his terrifying last days. Included is documentation linking the order of execution directly to Lenin, as well as the suggestion that two family members may have survived the ordeal. Included, too, is the testimony of ordinary Russians who have at last felt free to contribute their own recollections, documents, and handed-down secrets. Derived from a Kirkus review: On July 17, 1918, Nicholas II—the last tsar in the 300-year- old Romanov dynasty—and his wife, five children, family doctor, and three servants were executed in the storage room of a squalid house in a small Siberian city, their bodies burned, then buried in a mine shaft. From previously hidden royal diaries and letters, the testimony of the executioners, and the reminiscences of friends and descendants, Radzinsky, a Russian playwright, dramatizes the Romanovs' final, poignant days—the confusion, mystery, and waste. Radzinsky begins by re-creating the personalities and events of happier times: Nicholas, doting, charming, ineffectual; ``Little Wifey,'' as he called his empress, the half-mad, superstitious, demanding granddaughter of Queen Victoria; the four daughters, dressed in white; the hemophiliac son, beloved but bored; the demonic Rasputin; and the clutch of cousins and generals who secluded the royal family from the popular unrest, terrorism, and war that marked Nicholas's reign. Radzinsky's dramatic technique of weaving together scraps from the family's diaries and letters is particularly effective in the book's second half. There, he follows the Romanovs through their final year after Nicholas's abdication, a year during which the family—waiting to be rescued by the tsar's English cousin, King George, or to seek refuge in a monastery—was dragged around the countryside by unlettered Bolshevik guards until Lenin himself, deciding on the ``simple'' and ``ingenious'' solution to the Romanovs' fate, gave the order for their execution, recounted here in brutal detail. Radzinsky incorporates into his story his own pursuit of historical truth, sharing his frustrations and fascinations; and he confirms that the Romanovs tend to inspire exceptional writing, lyrical, precise, and intense. Condition: Very good / Very good.

Keywords: Rasputin, Romanov, Alexander Avdeyev, Peter Ermakov, Russia, Anna Vyrubova, Sergei Witte, Yakov Yurovsky, Tsar Nicholas II, Alexi Nikolaevich, Bolsheviks, Russian Revolution, White Russians

ISBN: 9780385423717

[Book #81499]

Price: $35.00