A saga of love and lust, personal tensions and rivalries, antagonisms and hatreds, The Flight of the Romanovs describes the last century of the Russian imperial dynasty, the Romanovs, from the youth of the future tsar Alexander III in the 1860s until the death in 1960 of his daughter, Olga Alexandrovna, the last grand duchess. John Curtis Perry and Constantine V. Pleshakov use a wealth of previously untapped sources, including unpublished diaries of many of the principal characters, interviews with people who knew them well, and never before published photographs to create a history of a family and a time. Along the way we learn of the relationships between Alexander III and his children, the conspiracy against Rasputin, Duke Dimitrie's affair with Coco Chanel, the hostile behavior of the House of Windsor toward the Romanovs, and the war between the Romanovs and the secret police. Concluding with a discussion of the imperial restoration movement in Russia today, The Flight of the Romanovs is a must-read for anyone interested in the Romanov family, Russian history, and the history of European royalty.
A uniquely comprehensive and rich account of the Soviet intelligence services, Jonathan Haslam's Near and Distant Neighbors charts the labyrinthine story of Soviet intelligence from the October Revolution to the end of the Cold War.
Previous histories have focused on the KGB, leaving military intelligence and the special service--which specialized in codes and ciphers--lurking in the shadows. Drawing on previously neglected Russian sources, Haslam reveals how both were in fact crucial to the survival of the Soviet state. This was especially true after Stalin's death in 1953, as the Cold War heated up and dedicated Communist agents the regime had relied upon--Klaus Fuchs, the Rosenbergs, Donald Maclean--were betrayed. In the wake of these failures, Khrushchev and his successors discarded ideological recruitment in favor of blackmail and bribery. The tactical turn was so successful that we can draw only one conclusion: the West ultimately triumphed despite, not because of, the espionage war.
In bringing to light the obscure inhabitants of an undercover intelligence world, Haslam offers a surprising and unprecedented portrayal of Soviet success that is not only fascinating but also essential to understanding Vladimir Putin's power today.
"An accessible, exciting narrative . . . Highly recommended for generalists interested in Russian history and those who enjoy the seamier side of past lives."--Library Journal (starred review) "An excellent condensed version of Russian history . . . a fine tale of history and scandal . . . sure to please general readers and monarchy buffs alike."--Publishers Weekly
"Tales from the nasty lives of global royalty . . . an easy-reading, lightweight history lesson."--Kirkus Reviews
"Readers of this book may get a sense of why Russians are so tolerant of tyrants like Stalin and Putin. Given their history, it probably seems normal."--The Washington Post
A stylistic tour de force, EIMI is a m lange of styles and tones, the prose containing many abbreviations, grammatical and syntactical shifts, typographical devices, compounds, and word coinages. This is Cummings's invigorating and unique voice at its finest, and EIMI is without question one of his most substantial accomplishments.
This bitter war between Russia and Turkey, aided by Britain and France, was the setting for the stuff of legends. This book details the gallant yet suicidal Charge of the Light Brigade, now immortalised in film: in the words of Tennyson, 'Into the Valley of Death rode the Six Hundred'. It relates the reports made by the first real war correspondant, William Russell of the London Times - reports which served only to highlight the army's problems - and memorialises the heroic deeds of Florence Nightingale, who struggled to save young men from the most formidable enemy in the Crimean War: not the Russians, but cholera.
Russia's 18th-century drive toward modernity and empire under the two "greats" - Peter I and Catherine II - is captured in this work by one of Russia's outstanding young historians. The author develops three themes: Russia's relationship to the West; the transformation of "Holy Russia" into a multinational empire; and the effects of efforts to modernize Russia selectively along Western lines. Writing in a clear, crisp style, Kamenskii enlivens the narrative with observations from contemporary literary figures and political commentators that point up the lasting significance of the events he describes.
Moscow in the 1960s was the other side of the Iron Curtain: mysterious, exotic, even dangerous. In 1966 the historian Sheila Fitzpatrick travelled to Moscow to research in the Soviet archives. This was the era of Brezhnev, of a possible 'thaw' in the Cold War, when the Soviets couldn't decide either to thaw out properly or re-freeze. Moscow, the world capital of socialism, was renowned for its drabness. The buses were overcrowded; there were endemic shortages and endless queues. This was also the age of regular spying scandals and tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions and it was no surprise that visiting students were subject to intense scrutiny by the KGB. Many of Fitzpatrick's friends were involved in espionage activities - and indeed others were accused of being spies or kept under close surveillance. In this book, Sheila Fitzpatrick provides a unique insight into everyday life in Soviet Moscow. Full of drama and colourful characters, her remarkable memoir highlights the dangers and drudgery faced by Westerners living under communism.
This revelatory account unveils how Stalin became Stalin, examining his shadowy journey from obscurity to power--from master historian Simon Sebag Montefiore.Based on ten years of research, Young Stalin--companion to the prizewinning Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar--is a brilliant prehistory of the USSR, a chronicle of the Revolution, and an intimate biography. Montefiore tells the story of a charismatic, darkly turbulent boy born into poverty, scarred by his upbringing but possessed of unusual talents. Admired as a romantic poet and trained as a priest, he found his true mission as a murderous revolutionary. Here is the dramatic story of his friendships and hatreds, his many love affairs, his complicated relationship with the Tsarist secret police, and how he became the merciless politician who shaped the Soviet Empire in his own brutal image. Described by The New York Times as a meticulously researched, autoritative biography, Young Stalin is essential reading for anyone interested in Russian history.
Winner of the Costa Book Award for Biography
A Christian Science Monitor and Seattle Times Best Book of the Year
Finalist for the William Saroyan International Prize for WritingFrom the bestselling author of A Mountain of Crumbs, a "brilliant and illuminating" (BookPage) portrait of mothers and daughters that reaches from Cold War Russia to modern-day New Jersey to show how the ties that hold you back can also teach you how to start over. Elena Gorokhova moves to the US in her twenties to join her American husband and to break away from her mother, a mirror image of her Soviet Motherland: overbearing, protective, and difficult to leave. Before the birth of Elena's daughter, her mother comes to help care for the baby and stays for twenty-four years, ordering everyone to eat soup and wear a hat, just as she did in Leningrad. Russian Tattoo is the story of a unique balancing act and a family struggle: three generations of strong women with very different cultural values, all living under the same roof and battling for control. As Elena strives to bridge the gap between the cultures of her past and present and find her place in a new world, she comes to love the fierce resilience of her Soviet mother when she recognizes it in her American daughter. "Gorokhova writes about her life with a novelist's gift," says The New York Times, and her second memoir is filled with empathy, insight, and humor.