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Peter the Great
Jacob Abbott
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Peter the Great (Makers of History #20)

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  149 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into pri ...more
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Published February 1st 2011 by B&R Samizdat Express (first published 1859)
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Dec 12, 2008 Jean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of the reading I've done on Peter the Great has been topically arranged, so it's nice to read something presented chronologically for a change, and get the feeling of his life as a story. And it's a very engrossing story! Almost a fairy tale.

Still, only four stars because I'd heard most of it before, and there was only a very short chapter about everything that happens after the death of Alexi. And no mention of the stories surrounding Peter's death (however spurious they may be, they migh
Scott Harris
Feb 07, 2013 Scott Harris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was not terribly familiar with the story of the great Russian Tsar Peter prior to reading this collection and was impressed with his amazing conquests, notwithstanding his reign of terror. He was very clearly a force to be reckoned within both inside his kingdom and beyond. The closing chapters chronicling the sad episode with his son and the eventual passing of the throne to his wife Catherine are almost biblical in their aspects.
Sep 30, 2014 Jeannie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another great history in a series of books by Jacob Abbott. I listened to this on Livervox. It was fast moving and gave a great back ground of the Russian people, and more of an understanding of who they are and the background that's made up their country.
Jack Kirkpatrick
Jan 13, 2017 Jack Kirkpatrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Peter the Great tells the story of Peter who was a tzar (leader) of Russia. He is responsible for bringing Russia into the modern age by reforming the military and providing a strong navy. He inspired the people of Russia and left an impact that can still be seen today. I enjoyed reading Peter the Great. It provided an interesting story but sometimes it felt like more like a listing of facts than a traditional biography. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes anything historical.
Allison Otting
Dec 27, 2016 Allison Otting rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I lived in St Petersburg for a short 5 months, and during that time I learned more about Russia's history than all of my schooling had given me. Peter the Great has been of interest to me ever since, as I have a deep fondness for the very European city which he established. This book by Abbott is written in a way that makes Peter's history highly engaging and fascinating. I did struggle with the chapters about wars with Sweden and the like, but I loved reading about his tenacity and accomplishme ...more
Really great. Highly engaging & readable bio about a very interesting man. Clearly written for humans a few decades younger than I, maybe 6th/7th grade?

The text acknowledges Peter's dual nature ... both a brilliant visionary and a tyrant. Most of it focuses on his achievements and extraordinary experiences, but no secret is made of his brutality (including torture of conspirators), though it's never described in nauseating detail. Still, even a simple "they were beheaded & their limbs w
Phil Syphe
I read this bio of Peter the Great as I'm interested in history yet know - or knew - hardly anything about this famous Russian Czar.

I found the rivalry Peter had with half-sister Sophia at the early stages of his life to be interesting. It's a shame that Abbott details the latter stages of Sophia's life so early in the narrative, as when she "reappears" later on as a potential threat to Peter's reign, I know nothing will happen because the author has already stated what becomes of Sophia.

This wi
Thom Swennes
Peter the Great by Jacob Abbott is a comprehensive sketch of one of Russia’s best known sovereigns. The “Great” that has been attached to him is ambiguous and somewhat perplexing. He, as so many of his family, held their position with a strong hand and didn’t hesitate to use death and a liberal distribution of gore to secure it. True, he did do much to improve Russia and bring her on a more even footing with other countries of Europe but his methods were tyrannical to say the least. Thousands, i ...more
Jan 28, 2011 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm no the biggest fan of old history books, but this was read pretty well! I'd say that its biggest strength was its smaller details. While not particularity plentiful, the small details this book contained did paint powerful pictures of Peter's personality (and later, Catherine's and Alexis's). The not-so-great of this book is mostly to be expected -- the book doesn't always give us the broader context. For example, though Peter is constantly at odds with traditionalists who oppose him, very f ...more
Nov 19, 2011 Sooz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i really have no idea whether this account of Peter the Great is considered a good one or not. i found it on the Gutenberg website and have been reading it a chapter at a time - mostly at work on my lunch break - and have quite enjoyed the authors dramatic flare.

"maddened by rage and by all the other dreadful excitements of the contest, press on furiously upon their flying and falling foes"

see? see what i mean? obviously Peter the Great provides great story fodder but there are likely historia
Oct 22, 2012 Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was very interesting history. The book wasn't well written by today's standards, but it does go back to the mid-19th Century. It repeats itself occasionally and makes interesting observations, like the size of the US army being only 15000 soldiers. My how things have changed!

Abbott brings Peter to life. My own grandfather came from Germans brought to Russian to teach the Russians how to farm. He was a great man for a cruel despot and he transformed the empire.
Biography in Abbott's style of focusing on personal and political details rather than the military battles. What was particularly interesting in this book was Peter's conflict with his son Alexis (who eventually he sentenced to death); it was an emotionally powerful narrative and you experienced Peter's frustration, anger, sorrow, and then his awful grief.
Karen Miller
Feb 13, 2012 Karen Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An important piece of the Russian history puzzle. Well written and free to my kindle reader! A well written shorter account. Peter really was the first of the significant Romanov Dynasty which would last until 1918. Details the cunning along with the cruelty that he used to strengthen and exploit his power.
Jun 09, 2012 seanc rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was possibly the wrong version to read. The writing style is simplistic, if not condescending, and the author repeats information he has already disclosed in previous chapters like it was new. Not what I would classify as quality writing, but it does give useful insight into the chronology of Peter's rise and reign.
Feb 10, 2016 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I picked up the book to read about Peter the Great and his life, not about how western european nations were superior to the eastern european nations, and not about the author's philosophical and personal viewpoints on things in life.
Nevertheless, chapters mostly on Peter's life were very informative and well detailed, though quite biased in many cases (specifically against Peter the Great).
Andrea Hickman Walker
This is interesting, particularly since I knew nothing about Peter the Great before I listened to this. I very much doubt I'll read anything else on the subject, because I didn't find it particularly compelling, but I'm glad I read it.
Jul 28, 2016 Marla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very much enjoy the way Jacob Abbott tells this story. Felt more like a historical fiction because the story is so full of intrigue, greatness, and tragedy.
Michael Jones
actually not a bad way to become familiar with some of the history of Russia. I'm not sure how the Russians feel about it, but it gave me some idea of the sweep of the country before communism.
Sep 29, 2012 M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are curious abt pre communist russian history this book is a nice place to begin with and get an overview...a plain historical account and truly easy read...
Curtis Taylor
It was a good read. It was a captivating adventurous walk through history. A must read for the world history buff.
Jan 11, 2012 Barry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2012
Left me wanting to know more about the subject. I found the dated contemporary asides & comparisons fascinating.
Oliver Chenault
Oliver Chenault rated it liked it
Sep 07, 2016
Katriena Knights
Katriena Knights rated it liked it
Sep 12, 2012
Kerry rated it liked it
Jul 08, 2012
Daniel Moan
Daniel Moan rated it liked it
Oct 18, 2016
J rated it really liked it
Feb 15, 2012
Anton Tsvetkov
Anton Tsvetkov rated it really liked it
Feb 27, 2013
Gabriel Peron
Gabriel Peron rated it liked it
Sep 23, 2014
Doug Morelly
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Abbott was born at Hallowell, Maine to Jacob and Betsey Abbott. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1820; studied at Andover Theological Seminary in 1821, 1822, and 1824; was tutor in 1824-1825, and from 1825 to 1829 was professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at Amherst College; was licensed to preach by the Hampshire Association in 1826; founded the Mount Vernon School for Young Ladies ...more
More about Jacob Abbott...

Other Books in the Series

Makers of History (1 - 10 of 31 books)
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  • History of William the Conqueror
  • History of King Charles II of England
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