вторник, 24 января 2017 г.

Book of the day: " Rasputin: Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs" by Douglas Smith


Amazon 
"[Douglas Smith's] scrupulous, insightful and thorough study will surely be the definitive account of one of the most controversial personalities of Russian (and European) history . . . Mr. Smith's research busts various Rasputin myths through a careful analysis of contemporary sources and a meticulous attention to the archives . . . All of this Mr. Smith presents lucidly, vividly and sympathetically . . . Rasputin is sharply drawn and unmistakable." ―Edward Lucas, The Wall Street Journal
“Douglas Smith has delivered the definitive biography [of Rasputin] that is brilliantly gripping, as hypnotic, wild and erotic in its revelations as the Mad Monk himself, sensitive in its human portrait, astute in its political analysis, superbly researched with rich new material gathered in faraway archives, and populated with the zaniest cast of the deranged Romanovs, depraved bishops, whores, mountebanks, adventuresses, mystics and murderers.” ―Simon Sebag Montefiore, Evening Standard (UK)
“From the opening pages of his colossal biography of Grigory Rasputin, the historian Douglas Smith dismantles many of the myths enshrouding the monk who exerted inordinate influence over Nicholas II and Alexandra, emperor and empress of Russia, during the twilight of the Romanov dynasty a century ago . . . In Mr. Smith’s telling, Rasputin was neither a sinner nor a saint, and very much a product of his time.” ―Steven Lee Myers, The New York Times
“Definitive.” ―Anne Applebaum, Harper's Magazine
“Superb and authoritative.” ―Donald Rayfield, Literary Review (UK)
“This brilliantly written, meticulously researched account of the life of Rasputin is the best, most complete and accurate I have ever read. Step by step, day by day, week by week, Douglas Smith tells the story from its humble beginnings, through its obscene sexual chapters, to its violent end. He describes how a peasant became ‘our Friend’ to the last emperor and empress of Russia. He explains why this dependency came at a terrible cost for the imperial couple, for their children, for Russia, and for the twentieth-century world. Readers will begin by saying that this is an impossible story to believe. They will read on because, in Douglas Smith’s mesmerizing telling, it must be believed. And because it did happen.” ―Robert K. Massie, author of Catherine the Great
“A big book about a big figure in the demise of tsarism. Douglas Smith supplies chapter and verse on the extraordinary life of Grigory Rasputin, the eminence grise behind the Romanov throne. Without denying the salacious and corrupt ways of the ‘holy man,’ the book brilliantly and thoughtfully defends Rasputin against the worst of the myths that swirled around him. A tour de force.” ―Robert Service, author of The End of the Cold War: 1985–1991 and Lenin: A Biography

“Some years ago, when working on a historical novel, I had to read all the existing Rasputin biographies―and they do abound, in all literary styles and in many languages. What a pity that Douglas Smith’s Rasputin had not yet been published; it would have saved me a lot of time. If you are interested in the story of the Romanovs’ pet prophet, this is the book to read.” ―Boris Akunin, author of The Coronation

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