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The Romanovs

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  3,708 ratings  ·  221 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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Cassy
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
Louise
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
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Darcy
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
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
Lynne
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
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Arsyn
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
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☽ 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
...more
Hana
Having just read and loved Robert K. Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra, I pounced on this one with somewhat unseemly glee. Alas, this was mostly about a group of academics squabbling over old bones and just it didn't grab me. Bottom line spoiler: (view spoiler) If you are interested in an updated version of the DNA testing, Google: 'Romanov, bones'!
Wendy
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
Maan Kawas
A very beautiful book that provides lots of details about the final night in the life of Tsar Nicholas II Romanov and his family and the few others were with them, the murder of the family in 1918 and its aftermath, and the discovery of nine of the eleven bodies of the Romanov family (the other two were discovered in 2007), and the following scientific investigations. The book is a kind of detailed account of the investigations (forensic, lab test, DNA, etc..) took place in order to find and ide ...more
Danielle
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
Julie
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
Brooke
4.5/5
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
Emma
This book concerns itself more with the discovery of the Romanov remains rather than their lives and death. It's fascinating to read about all the politics and intrigue involved in the discovery of the bodies. It's a bit dated, and so I was disappointed not to be able to read about the discovery of the final bodies and learn what happened there, but since it was written while all these discoveries were being made, it still felt fresh and taught me a lot about the subject.
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
Dee Mellott
the end of the Romanovs
Patricia
I read this book in conjunction with Helen Rappaport's The Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg. Between the two works, you can learn just about everything there is to be learned about the Romanovs' last days as well as a conclusive debunking of any and all "survivor myths." The Massie work is more factual while the Rappaport book deals more with the mood and pathos of the Romanov family as they live their last few weeks in captivity before their assassination. Both works use the r ...more
Amanda Long
In July 1991, nine skeletons were exhumed from a shallow mass grave near Ekaterinburg, Siberia, a few miles from the infamous cellar room where the last tsar and his family had been murdered seventy-three years before. But were these the bones of the Romanovs? And if these were their remains, where were the bones of the two younger Romanovs supposedly murdered with the rest of the family? Was Anna Anderson, celebrated for more than sixty years in newspapers, books, and film, really Grand Duches ...more
Katy
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
Becky
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
jim
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
Judy
It took me a little longer than I had planned to get to this book. I wanted to read it soon after I finished "The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra" by Helen Rappaport. There was much about what happened to the Romanov family that I had learned from the former book, but still it was interesting to read. There have been many years and people and results of political affairs that had finally given us the answers and allowed historians to close the chapter o ...more
Imi
I might use the start of this review to let everyone know that you must read Nicholas and Alexandra if you haven't already. You really must. Read that first and if you are interested in reading more then The Romanovs: The Final Chapter might be a good choice.

If you are interested in the history and lives of the Romanovs, right up the last moments before their murder, then Nicholas and Alexandra is what you want to read. The Romanovs: The Final Chapter is not focused on the victims themselves, bu
...more
Nicole
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
Brit Hopper
Robert Massie has written a lot about the early nineteenth century relating to pre-World War I and Europe's march toward war. He has focused attention on the last Tsar Nicholas II and his family. I became interested in the Romanovs when taking Imperial Russia and Soviet history classes in college in the early 90s. I instantly became drawn to the family, the sadness/tragedy that surrounded the family and their horrific end. I read Massie's "Nicholas and Alexandra", which is a superb account and E ...more
Amy
I've always had a bit of fascination about the Romanovs, especially the fact that there are so many who claimed to be the children. My dad suggested that I might like this book, especially if I was interested in the imposter piece since a large chunk of the book focuses on those individuals.

I found this book to be very informative and I feel like it gave me a great sense of what took place and how everything flowed from that. There was so much detail explored in this book, that it sometimes eve
...more
Sarah Finley
While I love every other biography I've read by Massie, I did not like this one, perhaps because it was not a biography at all. This is the tale, or rather the start of the tale, of the uncovering of the bodies of the Romanovs. Unfortunately, this book was published before the last bodies were unearthed, and that lack of closure makes me greatly wish that he is hard at work on a new edition. Regardless of that, it was still not interesting to me to read about all the bickering and bureaucracy th ...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
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  • The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II
  • Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra
  • Alexandra: The Last Tsarina
  • The Fate of the Romanovs
  • A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra: Their Own Story
  • Nicholas and Alexandra: The Last Tsar and Tsarina
  • The Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg
  • The Camera and the Tsars: The Romanov Family in Photographs
  • The Romanov Family Album
  • Anastasia's Album: The Last Tsar's Youngest Daughter Tells Her Own Story
  • The Quest for Anastasia: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Romanovs
  • 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
  • Anastasia: The Lost Princess
  • The Romanovs: Autocrats of All the Russians
  • The Rasputin File
  • King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led The World To War
40882
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.” 2 likes
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