Week 21

Nicholas II (born 1868, died July 17, 1918. Tsar, 1894-1917), known in the Russian Orthodox Church as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer, was the last Emperor of All Russia, ruling from 1 November 1894 until his abdication on 15 March 1917. During his reign, Nicholas gave support to the economic and political reforms promoted by his prime ministers, Sergei Witte and Pyotr Stolypin. He advocated modernization based on foreign loans and close ties with France, but resisted giving the new parliament (the Duma) major roles. Ultimately, progress was undermined by Nicholas's commitment to autocratic rule, strong aristocratic opposition and defeats sustained by the Russian military in the Russo-Japanese War and World War I. By March 1917, public support for Nicholas had collapsed and he was forced to abdicate the throne, thereby ending the Romanov dynasty's 300-year rule of Russia.After abdicating for himself and his son, Nicholas and his family were imprisoned by the Russian Provisional Government and exiled to Siberia. After the Bolsheviks took power in the October Revolution, the family was held in Yekaterinburg, where they were executed in July 1918. (Wikipedia)



Paul Bushkovitch,

A Concise History of Russia,

Cambridge University Press,

ISBN 0521543231



Robert Massie,

Nicholas and Alexandra: The Classic Account of the Fall of the Romanov Dynasty,

Random House Trade Paperbacks,

ISBN 0345438310

Institute Library Call Number: 947.08 Mas NIC


Douglas Smith,

Rasputin: Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs,

Picador paperback edition (November 7, 2017),

ISBN ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250141262

“[The] definitive biography of this most mysterious and controversial figure . . . Under Smith’s probing eye, archives yield up impressive detail and previously unknown accounts that place Rasputin’s life in a new, more realistic context.” ―Greg King, The Washington Post

"[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

“Magisterial . . . This balanced, impeccably researched book is a revelation, as richly detailed and engrossing as any novel.” ―Boris Dralyuk, Los Angeles Review of Books