The Romanovs
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The Romanovs

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  3,065 ratings  ·  193 reviews
In 1991, nine skeletons were exhumed from a shallow grave near Ekaterinberg, Siberia. Were these the remains of the last tsar and his family, murdered over 70 years before? Pulitzer Prize winner Massie now answers this question, going back to the horrifying moments of the slaughter, and describing in detail the ultimately successful efforts in post-communist Russia to disc...more
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published October 10th 1995 by Random House Value Publishing (first published 1995)
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I have sad news. Anastasia is dead. Long dead. She died back in 1918 in a basement with her family. I am now convinced of this. Despite all the movies and claimants, she did not survive and escape. Meaning there is no hidden princess out there in the world. No unassuming person about to be uncovered and lavished with luxuries. Even more crushing, the probability that I am in fact a hidden princess is greatly diminished.

My ten year old self is devastated. In fifth grade, we had to script and act...more
Linda Lipko
Written in 1995, at the time of publication, only nine of the eleven bodies of the Romanov family and their servants were found. In 2007, the bodies of young Alexei and his sister Maria were discovered.

Massie is the author of the classic, well-documented and meticulously researched book Nicholas and Alexandra. Obviously, still interested in the fate of Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra and their five children, Massie, tenaciously pursued the details surrounding the discovery of the remains in a wo...more
Jul 02, 2014 Lynne rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in Russian history and particularly of the downfall of the Romanovs
Recommended to Lynne by: myself
Shelves: history
The Romanovs chronicles the discovery and identification of nine sets of bones found in a shallow grave near Ekaterinburg, where Tsar Nicholas and his family spent their final days. Massie, author of Nicholas and Alexandra, had been very outspoken in renouncing all those who claimed to be the Tsarevich Alexei or the Grand Duchess Anastasia throughout the 20th century, so of course he had a keen interest in this find.

Several reviews criticize this book for lacking background information necessary...more
I have been an avid reader of anything having to do with the Romanov family for years. When I discovered this book, I must say I was ecstatic to finally see some scientific evidence pertaining to the tragic fall of the Last Tsar and his family.

Yes! That is exactly what this book provides. It describes years and years of research and archaeological work done in Russia both through historical documents and field work done in the supposed burial sites of the Romanov bodies. The evidence found is f...more
Rachel Jackson
I have no other person to credit for my interest in the Romanovs, Russian history and Russia itself than Robert K. Massie. I first read his book Nicholas and Alexandra when I was about seven years old, and although much of it was way over my head, it remained among my all-time favorites, and I've reread it numerous times over the years. The Final Chapter takes my interest a hundred times farther by finishing the story as best as Massie could in the 1990s post-Soviet collapse.

The Final Chapter re...more
☽ Moon Rose ☯
Give strength, Just God, to us who need it,
The persecutors to forgive,
Our heavy, painful cross to carry
And Thy great meekness to achieve.

When we are plundered and insulted
In days of mutinous unrest
We turn for help to Thee, Christ-Savior,
That we may stand the bitter test.

Lord of the world, God of Creation,
Give us Thy blessing through our prayer
Give peace of heart to us, O Master,
This hour of utmost dread to bear.

And on the threshold of the grave
Breathe power divine into our clay
That we, Thy chil
Kind of gruesome in some parts, although you probably won't think so if you're a fan of CSI or NCIS or any of those forensic crime shows. Also, it was published before some of the mysteries were solved or certain things were decided, even though people were in the process, and it hasn't been updated to include the solutions to any of the situations, if any. Other than that, it's really interesting, and in most cases, each person's point of view is represented fully and objectively. I enjoyed lea...more
I had hoped that this book would give an intimate look at the last days of the family and just how they got to where they were before they were killed. The book did cover this very briefly, but mostly it focused on the aftermath, of finding the bones in the grave, of debunking the imposters, petty turf wars among the scientific community in their search for the truth, and petty disagreements of the remaining family members of just who is really the "head" of the family now that the original fami...more
An absolute must-read for anyone interested in not only the Romanovs, but also Russian history or forensic science.

I recently returned from living in St. Petersburg where I visited the mass grave of the Romanovs and their servants in Peter and Paul Fortress, saw icons of Nicholas II as saint/martyr in several churches, and watched news reports on memorial services held in Ekaterinburg on the anniversary of the murder. If you've experienced Russia or read a lot of Russian history, you unders...more
This book is a departure for Robert Massie who has produced some extraordinarily readable research on the Romanovs. The book is history (his forte) but it is also journalism and a discussion of forensic science and law.

As a history buff, the beginning and ending parts were of most interest to me. Massie starts with a careful documentation of the murders of the Tsar and his family and how the news was managed by the Russian revolutionaries. The end deals with fate of other branches of the Romanov...more
Helen Azar
I am currently re-reading this book, which I originally read about 6 or 7 years ago... Having behind me several articles on the subject, as well as having worked in the Russian archives, I can now fully understand and appreciate the painful process described in this book. I feel the frustration and pain the key players experienced during this investigation,which should have been fairly straight forward. From the extremely dysfunctionally bureaucratic Russian system to the foolish rivalries among...more
Fascinating stuff. I felt like I was reading an episode of Bones (self-important anthropologist and all!)

This book is definitely not for someone who is interested in the last days of the Romanovs; it focuses almost entirely on what happened after the murders. But, it is a fascinating history. I learned a lot and would recommend it to forensics fans as well as those who are interested in the completion of the Romanov story.

I recognize that the original was published in 1995, but the edition I rea...more
A bit of weird coincidence that I finished this book on July 17, 96 years from when the Romanov family was murdered. This book wasn't quite what I was expecting. I should have read the blurb. This had very little to do with the Romanovs and more to do with what happened after their deaths. Plus, having been written prior to the discovery of the two other "missing" bodies, there was still some mystery. Now that that the other daughter and the tsarevich are found, we all know for certain that all...more
May 06, 2014 jim rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: eh...
Recommended to jim by: no one
Based on how quickly I devoured Nicholas & Alexandra, I am surprised that finishing this took as long as it did. The book started out interesting enough but by the end I felt like I had been slogging through a thick fog ultimately not reaching the destination toward which I thought I was heading. It's also unfortunate that "The Final Chapter" was written well before the final chapter of the Romanov saga was really known. I understand the allure of publishing this as a follow-up to the brilli...more
This book had been on my to-read list for several years when the kick off of the games in Russia prompted me to give it a go. I really know pathetically little about the Russian Revolution but have always been sort of intrigued by the story of the Romanov's. This book definitely doesn't delve deeply into the revolution, but gives a decent one-chapter overview of the causes & effects. The rest of the book focuses on finding the remains, the ID of the remains, & the various and sundry nut-...more
[4.25] Such an interesting and sad story, and very well done, especially in light of how "heavy" the material is. With all the names and interweavings of the Romanov family tree, and the vast numbers of people involved in the identification of their remains and identity of Anna Anderson over the course of nearly a century, the author somehow manages to make the information readable and understandable to the lay history buff. The format used in telling the story is also supremely effective -- to...more
Valerie Christie
This book was a very interesting look at the various issues that have surrounded the Romanovs since the murders of the imperial family in 1918. It is divided into four sections - the first section deals with the discovery of the remains and the identification, the second section deals with the impostors, the third deals with the Romanov émigrés and the fourth section deals with the Ipatiev house and the last days of the family. I found it all very interesting, particularly the first and the fina...more
Brian Eshleman
If you want to know how this family personally cope with the fall from sovereignty, to being prisoners, to being executed, unfortunately, this is not the book for you. I had hoped for that, because the author's book on Nicholas and Alexandra is so well-regarded as one I have always wanted to read. I should have waited for it.

As for this work, the family dies within the first few pages. The personalities involved in most of the story are scientists trying to determine if remains indeed belong to...more
Needless to say I plan on reading more about the Romanovs. This covers a lot of ground, though.
Good, fast read for lovers of all things Romanov. It reads like a crime novel.
''Anastasia'' is a 1997 American animated musical fantasy drama film,which I saw when I was a kid (as I suppose everybody else) .So I became curious about The Romanov family and I wanted to know more historical details regarding the fate of The Last Tsar and his family.
This book by Robert K.Massie is just MARVELOUS and just what I was looking for.
At the end of the book,I faced the fact that actually Anastasia died so everybody who proclaimed to be her later in the years are just impostors :(( th...more
Where I've torn through Massie's other books, this one took me quite a while to finish. Extremely informative as always, but the emphasis of the first third of the book is on the science and confusion of determining the bones of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, the 2nd third is on the legal challenges to the bones as well as the legal proceedings of several imposters/family members and others and the final third regards the descendants and claims to the nonexistent crown.

Everything is interesti...more
A very interesting read. I picked it up having not yet read Nicholas and Alexandra, and having not really read the synopsis. I expected it to be about the life of Nicholas II and his family, and the end of imperial Russia. But I found the book's subject matter to be at least as fascinating. I haven't yet seen a book on quite the same subject, and I believe Massie did a good job giving a more modern face to historical events. "The Romanovs: The Final Chapter" is not a dry presentation of facts an...more
I don't know why but the Romanovs have always been an interesting story for me. Perhaps its the fact that I can't imagine Russia being led by a royal family and having links to other great royal families of England, Germany and Spain or it's the terrible manner in which the beautiful girls and young boy were killed. Either way the story is intriguing but what made this book more interesting was the story behind The book focuses not on what happened the sad day in 1917 when the family was murdere...more
The Romanovs is an through survey of the Romanov family post-Russian revolution. Massie discusses the execution of the Imperial family, the contemporary theories about their deaths, the search for the remains, the academic and legal debate surrounding the identification of the bodies and a history of Romanov pretenders. Massie has done his research, and provides a well researched and organized account, especially the confusing scientific and legal battles. In addition, Massie talks about the oth...more
The follow-up to the highly addictive Nicholas and Alexandra was equally riveting. While the first book was published long before any remains were discovered, the second book explores the unearthing of the royal family’s final resting place, the authentication of the bones, the contention of a variety involved parties and the mystery of whether there were any survivors.

The first part of the book dealt with the identification of the remains. I had to slow down a bit to really absorb the various...more
Robert K. Massie skizziert eindringlich die Todesnacht der letzten in Russland herrschenden Romanows am Vorabend der Gründung der Sowjetunion. Breit angelegt untersucht er die darauffolgenden Jahrzehnte und unterfüttert die DNA-Fachsimpelei der 90er mit reichlich fundiertem wissenschaftlichem Wissen, sodass Laien leicht folgen können. Auch wenn das Aufdröseln von insbesondere Anna Andersons Geschichte ein wenig langatmig gerät, so räumt doch der Autor somit jeglichen Zweifel aus, es könnte sich...more
Oct 04, 2013 Jesse rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Khardashian fans
Shelves: remarkable, good

Spoiler Alert: they all die at the end.

I think what is so striking about the lyrical, mythical proportions of the Romanovs is the photos. These prints from the 1900s, they could easily be Instagram candids, teenage girl selfies taken in the moment. The once fabulously wealthy Romanovs become a just another loving family, essentially transients in their own country. And in the hail of bullets, the hidden diamonds, sown into the corsets of the Romanov girls in a desperate effort, some tragic mirac...more
I learned more about DNA and DNA testing in this book than I think I would ever need to know, but it was very interesting.

The book we divided into 4 parts...the first one being the longest about what exactly happened to the Romanov family on that fatal night and the different people who went looking for and eventually found the remains. The second part talked more about how the remains were found, how they were identified and the debate the surrounded the findings. The third section focused on...more
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  • The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II
  • Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra
  • The Fate of the Romanovs
  • A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra: Their Own Story
  • The Camera and the Tsars: The Romanov Family in Photographs
  • The Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg
  • Nicholas and Alexandra: The Last Tsar and Tsarina
  • Alexandra: The Last Tsarina
  • Anastasia's Album: The Last Tsar's Youngest Daughter Tells Her Own Story
  • Michael and Natasha: The Life and Love of Michael II, the Last of the Romanov Tsars
  • The Flight Of The Romanovs A Family Saga
  • From Splendor to Revolution: The Romanov Women, 1847--1928
  • Alix and Nicky: The Passion of the Last Tsar and Tsarina
  • The Quest for Anastasia: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Romanovs
  • Catherine the Great
  • Anastasia: The Lost Princess
  • King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led The World To War
  • The Romanovs: Autocrats of All the Russians
Robert Kinloch Massie (born 1929) is an American historian, writer, winner of a Pulitzer Prize, and a Rhodes Scholar.

Born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1929, Massie spent much of his youth in Nashville, Tennessee and currently resides in Westchester County, New York in the village of Irvington. He studied American history at Yale University and modern European history at Oxford University on his Rhode...more
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“In Russia everything is a secret, but there is no secrecy.” 1 likes
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