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The Flight Of The Romanovs: A Family Saga

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  532 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
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-a century that saw the greatest social and political upheavals in all of recorded history. Drawing upon a wealth of untapped resources from Russian, British, and American archives, including unpublished dia ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published February 2nd 2001 by Basic Books (first published February 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,468)
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Louise
Jun 07, 2014 Louise rated it really liked it
I recently read the Radzinsky's Alexander II: The Last Great Tsaron the reign on Alexander II, which concludes with Alexander's death. This book by Curtis doesn't skip a beat from that scene. The authors define the players in this family, giving personalities to the people on its very good genealogical chart. The first third or so, introduces their roles so we know something about their lives and characters before their executions or flight.

While the authors seem sympathetic to the Romanov's, I
...more
Aldi
Excellent overview of the decline of the Romanov monarchy over a span of 100+ years. Particularly a great starting point if - like me - you like to get a general context of who is who and what happened to whom and why, and then pick from that overview the specific persons or events about whom you might want to read about in more detail (I need all available books on Olga Alexandrovna, stat!).

I was rather glad for the map and genealogical tree in the front of the book, because I did need to refe
...more
Elizabeth
Sep 27, 2007 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: russia, nonfiction
This book gave me a great beginning overview of the history of Russia from the 1800s to Yeltsin. In my gazillion years of education, not once did I take a Russain history class or read any Russian literature--kind of pathetic really. All of my references to Russia have been through the filter of ballet so it was nice to see where the Tsars fit in with Diagilev, Balanchine, Mathilde Kschessinska (who taught Margot Fonteyn) and others. I was also interested in the description of the TREST program, ...more
Dawn
Mar 05, 2016 Dawn rated it really liked it
Everyone knows the story of the brutal murder of Tzar Nicholas, his wife and children, in an Ekaterinburg basement, but what became of their surviving relatives? Flight of the Romanovs delves into that chapter of Russian history.

First the author provides readers with an account of the Romanovs lives on the eve of war, then sweeps you through the Russian Revolution, their escape from Russia, and finally, lets you discover what life was like for the surviving Romanovs in the Revolution's aftermath
...more
Christopher
Jun 07, 2015 Christopher rated it it was ok
Maybe the idea is political: underline the nonsensical nature of monarchy by lining up boring Romanov life after boring Romanov life. "You see, this system and, thus, these people are awful." I sort of thought we had already arrived at that point by the book's 1999 publication (or 1917, it would seem) but I digress.

Yet desperately uninteresting human material does not necessitate punitively emulating their lives through directionless storytelling. Yes, they were dull but interesting things happe
...more
Amanda
Dec 29, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it
This unfolding story of the lives of the many Romanovs picks up in the late 1800's when Alexander III becomes Tsar of Russia. Books like this have the potential to be more like a textbook, but the writing was engaging. I have read books on this subject before, but I learned a lot. It did take me a couple of weeks to read it as I sometimes took breaks from reading for a day or two. But I kept going back to it. The focus of this time period is almost exclusively on Nicholas and Alexandra's immedia ...more
Steven Peterson
Nov 12, 2009 Steven Peterson rated it really liked it
This book provides a good view on the star-crossed Romanov family, as we see the downward spiral until much of the royal family is killed off and the remainder flees into exile. The volume features an extremely helpful genealogy at the beginning. I found it useful to refer to it from time to time to keep the "players" straight.

The story begins with Tsar Alexander II, a reformer, who was rewarded by assassination. In some senses, this was most unfortunate for Russia, since his efforts at reform
...more
Amy Salamon
I was pretty ho-hum about this book halfway through. I think a major reason was because there were just too many Romanovs to keep track of! They were everywhere.

I chose this book in the first place because it was an era of history that I knew next to nothing about. I think this book did help some but by no means could I write a comprehensive essay or talk at length at a dinner party about the Romanov family. And that's due to how much I absorbed from the story - not due to the writer's skill. He
...more
Sera
Sep 12, 2008 Sera rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sera by: Sara W.
This book provides an excellent, comprehensive overview of the Romanov dynasty from Alexander II to the late 1990s, but the authors have been able to put this important part of Russian history in easy to read terms. The book is impeccably researched and provides an objective overview of the fall of the monarchy, which posits that most of the family contributed to this downfall, rather than simply Nicholas II and his immediate clan.

I love the Romanvos - so strong in many ways, but so ignorant in
...more
Kate
Aug 16, 2010 Kate rated it it was ok
Provides a good wider scope of the extended Romanov family (whereas most works on the Russian Revolution will dwell only on Nicholas II and his immediate family). However, the author has a few favorite family members, and his bias becomes more and more obvious as the text progresses. In the end his attention to his favorites tends to drown out the rest of the family history.

Finally, I sincerely doubt his epilogue, in which he describes the re-burial of Nicholas II, his wife, and their children a
...more
Claire
Apr 21, 2013 Claire rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Blech. The scope was way too huge and meandering and the writing was very pretentious (there were sentences I had to read aloud a couple of times so I could actually understand what they were trying to say). The authors are also a little too sympathetic with the Romanovs at times; I can understand sympathizing with the ones who were murdered, but when you get to the "and then the ones in exile had to get JOBS!" parts, it's hard to feel sorry, especially given what the peasant/serf class underwen ...more
Barb
Aug 09, 2011 Barb rated it really liked it
Very interesting book on the Russian royals from the late 19th to late 20th centuries. There are a LOT of them, which can be very confusing, but it was fascinating reading how each dealt with the Russian Revolution. (Or didn't.) The authors provide context for the events of both the revolution and subsequent events. I admit I never really thought about what happened to the Romanovs after 1917, but the story is a fascinating one. You manage to both feel bad for and disgusted by the royals.
Gail
Jan 17, 2015 Gail rated it really liked it
Slightly dated but interesting that it discusses more than just the Imperial family. A good read.
Christina
Jun 19, 2007 Christina rated it it was ok
Shelves: garage-sale-pile
i really hated this book while i was reading it. i picked it up because i was curious about the Romanovs and knew nothing about them. i guess i should have researched a bit to find a better historical novel. i was irritated with the trivial dialogue throughout the book. how the heck does the author know what the heck they talked about? i gave it two stars because i did actually like the historical stuff and the family trees. the rest was stupid.
Savanna
Feb 21, 2012 Savanna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romanovs, history
This was a great book for anyone really interested in imperial Russia, like me. Because so much has already been written about Nicholas and Alexandra, this book instead focuses on their many relatives, who have equally interesting stories that are rarely heard. Along with the history, Perry and Pleshakov have gathered a lot of amazing photographs. I learned a lot and would definitely recommend it!
Kathy
Jan 13, 2011 Kathy rated it really liked it
Fascinating historical look at the Romanov family from Alexander II up to the present time. It was such a large family that it was confusing at times trying to keep everyone straight. It is unfortunate that this ruling family missed the opportunity to become a constitutional monarchy, thus saving Russia from some of its disastrous recent history. A very well researched and scholarly work.
Linden
Jan 15, 2011 Linden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I recommend this book to anyone who has interest in Russian history and especially the decades before the Russian revolution. I especially like the family tree given at the begging of the book. While reading the book, I constantly checked the names and dates to make sure I am following the events.
Rick Hautala
Apr 28, 2011 Rick Hautala rated it it was amazing
Not sure why, but I have always been fascinated by the story of Nicholas and his wife and family ... This book was absolutely absorbing and fascinating and while the cast of characters is bigger than a Russian novel, fairly easy to keep in line ... HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Rebecca Huston
Aug 19, 2010 Rebecca Huston rated it it was amazing
Shelves: keepers, royals, russia
A look at the more minor members of the Romanov family and what happened to them before and after the Revolution. A very interesting read and one that I recommend.

For the more complete review, please go here:
http://www.epinions.com/content_35859...
Chelsea
Nov 21, 2007 Chelsea rated it it was amazing
I loved this biography. It spans several generations, covering the last century of the Romanovs, both before and after the Revolution. Well written, with a lot of interesting material to work with, this is my favorite book on the Romanovs as a clan.
Sonya ❤ Sᴄʜᴜʏʟᴇʀ ❤ (formerly Nᴀᴛᴀʟʏᴀ)  (hasn't read HP)
4.75 stars
Fascinating. A very well-written story of the other Romanovs and their journeys before and after the revolution. A bit tedious to start with, bit I am definitely glad I read it. However, it does have its confusing passages.
Beth
Oct 25, 2009 Beth rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Russofiles
Utterly fascinating well written book about the fate of all the Romanovs after the Russian Revolution. Heartbreakingly tragic, the authors are sympathetic yet not melodramatic about this piece of Russia's history.
Diane
This book not only tells of the Romanovs who were executed by the Bolsheviks, but of those who escaped he Red Terror, and how their lives changes radically after the fall of Imperial Russia.
Cindy Brown Ash
Jul 01, 2013 Cindy Brown Ash rated it liked it
Shelves: gave-up
Didn't finish it. I know the story well enough by now. Not pretty. Not bad enough to give it a bad review and not good enough that I couldn't put it down and keep from picking it back up again.
Sara W
Nov 11, 2007 Sara W rated it it was amazing
Excellent, basic overview of the Romanovs at the end of their reign. The book starts in the late 1870s or so and goes through the 1950s to 1960s after the family was forced to flee.
Cris
Aug 03, 2009 Cris rated it did not like it
Boring! It read like a not-very-interesting textbook. I'll admit I was expecting something more narrative, like one of David McCullough or Allison Weir's biographies.
Candice
Mar 04, 2008 Candice rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
A totally interesting topic written in the most boring language. It took me four years to finish it. Yep, it was that boring to me.
Martine
Aug 21, 2010 Martine rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
The better of the books about the end of the Romanovs
Britt
Jul 17, 2007 Britt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history lovers and Russophiles.
Shelves: finished

TBA
Laura Foster
Laura Foster marked it as to-read
May 23, 2016
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