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The Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg
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The Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  1,756 ratings  ·  172 reviews
On the sweltering summer night of July 16, 1918, in the Siberian city of Ekaterinburg, a group of assassins led an unsuspecting Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, his wife, the Tsarina Alexandra, the desperately ill Tsarevich, and their four beautiful daughters, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia, into a basement room where they were shot and then bayoneted to death.

This is the...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 3rd 2009 by St. Martin's Press (first published June 5th 2008)
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If you’ve stumbled across my review of The Romanovs: Autocrats of All the Russias, you might recall that I’ve recently become a member of the Two-Person Russian Book Club. As the name implies, this is a Russian-themed book club comprised of two members: myself, and my friend Jamie. We are the only two members because we are the only two people we know personally who would join such a club.

Our first book was the aforementioned The Romanovs, by W. Bruce Lincoln, a dense, sweeping look at the dyna...more
Helen Rappaport, in writing this book achieved not only to bring new information to light concerning the planning of murdering the Romanov family, she was also able to bring you right in to the story. As I read, I not only could imagine the train ride aboard the Trans-Siberian railway line to Ekaterinburg, and the sheer fear of this being the worst place in all of Russia to be taken to. Nicholas, Alexandra, and Maria arrived in Ekaterinburg in May, and accounts of that time frame are given, thro...more
I'm probably not being fair in giving this book 4 stars, but I can't help it. It's my never-ending itch that no history book written by women can scratch. I am not being a misoginistic arsehole, it's just my frank opinion.

This has probably been the direct effect of the latest history book that I read, which is "The End" by Ian Kershaw. Now that's master-class retelling of some or other part of humanity's history. However, it's not just that particular work that influenced my view on the matter....more
I'm always disturbed at the romanticized and saccharined portrayal of the Romanov murders. It seems wrong to cannonize the dynasty that inflicted torture, exile, imprisonment, and death upon its people. Equally, in my mind, Nicholas II only received the same treatment he gave to many of his subjects...murder. Especially in Nicholas's case, I don't think the "calm, devoted family-man" image redeems his strictly autocratic and anti-Semitic rule as monarch. For a monarch to turn the other way while...more
A very readable piecing together of the last few weeks in the lives of Tsar Nicholas, his wife Alexandra, their five children, and the unfortunate faithful retainers who shared their fate. Each chapter moves the narrative along a few days, or a day (towards the end), then focuses on a protagonist in order to give the background of the event leading up to the massacre.

As we know what happened, the feeling of tension and inevitable doom builds until we reach the very graphic chapter that describes...more
Horia Bura
This is truly an amazing history book! Mrs. Rappaport goes beyond the limits of historical narrative and succeeds in recreating the whole heavy and tormenting atmosphere of the final two weeks in the lives of the Romanovs up to the moment of their appaling death. I know it sounds like a cliche, but the narrative description of historical characters, mental and physical conditions or even things is so powerful and compelling that it's almost as if you are there, experiencing the same feelings, ho...more
I had the misfortune of arriving at chapter 14 of The Last Days of the Romanovs in the late evening—of course I couldn’t put the book down—and let me say that the terrible gruesomeness recounted in those final chapters does not make for restful sleep afterwards. Gory? Absolutely. Sickening? Indeed. But Rappaport’s account of the murders is considerably more disturbing because the earlier chapters of the book establish the Romanovs as such a deeply human and sympathetic family.

Tsar Nicholas was a...more
“Ekaterinburg is the name of the town the Romanovs, the Imperial family of Russia were kept in the weeks leading up to their execution. Helen Rappaport, the author, writes well and I like the way the book is laid out, with each chapter taking on a day in the house they were kept in and a different member of the family.
The only gripe I have with this book is that for a complete novice on Russian history, which I have to confes myself to be, it doesn't give enough information on the social and pol...more
Linda Lipko
Thanks to Sher (ProfilerSR) for recommending this book in 2009. Continuing my quest to learn more of Russian history, I noted The Last Days of the Romanovs in my LT library.

It was a hot, humid evening in Ekaterinburg, in the industrial town located in Siberia. July 16th started as other days for the Romanovs. They entertained themselves by playing cards, reading and caring for their young son and brother. Frail from blood that refused to clot, they continued their hovering and worrying.

Thin from...more
The title of this book tells you pretty much all you need to know - it is a very in-depth look at the last month or so in the lives of Russia's Tsar Nicholas II and his family, who were murdered by the Bolsheviks in July of 1918.

Honestly, I would have preferred to learn more about the Russian Revolution itself. I often found myself a little confused. Who were the Whites and why were they fighting against the Bolsheviks? And why were Czechoslovakians fighting alongside the Whites? But, really, th...more
Barbara Ardinger
An unforgettable book. The author gives the chronology of the events of the last week that last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, and his family were alive and imprisoned in Ekaterinburg (pronounced ye-ka-tyer-in-boorg), the town in the Ural Mountains between Russia and Siberia where they were executed during the night of July 17, 1918. Although it is historical fact that Nicholas II must have been one of the stupidest men ever to sit on a throne and that his wife, Alexandra (originally a German prince...more
I just finished a book about Trotsky before reading this account of the Romanov murders, so maybe I'm just burnt out on the Russian Revolution and its attendant issues. Still, I'd like to give this 2.5 stars, and once again curse goodreads for not having half stars as an option.

I liked this book mainly for the asides. Rappaport touched briefly on several minor historical figures that I hadn't ever heard of and found interesting. For instance, she spends a few pages on Lt Col Mariya Bochkareva, a...more
The author takes the last 14 days of the life of the Romanovs and gives you insights to different members of the family and their staff. Features the different members of the Bolsheviks who jailed them in Ekaterinburg and the political forces swirling about the Urals and Moscow. The last two chapters are very graphic in the details of the murders of the Romanov family. I think the author whose stated goal was not to try and rehash the whole history of the Romanovs did a very good job in giving y...more
Michelle Ule
This is an excellent overview of the death of the tsar by a fine writer. I learned things I'd never known and I've been reading on this topic for 40 years. The only flaw I saw was after devoting a chapter to the tsar, the tsarina and the girls (wonderful), I expected a similar chapter on Alexei.

Recommended if you're interested in Russian history and the Romanovs in particular.
This is a very readable biography. Although focusing on the Romanov's last weeks of captivity, there are separate chapters about each family member's life, as well as those of their faithful staff. The narrative therefore becomes very personal, and their hopes, fears and frustrations become especially poignant in those last few days, with you knowing what will happen to them, knowing that they don't.

There are also chapters about the men who killed them, and the royal European cousins who could a...more
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It condensed the Romanov saga to the last two weeks and built a lot of tension to the foregone conclusion. I'm by no means an expert on this period in history. It was very readable, cinematic in scope and horrifying at the end. I'd recommend it!

I was a bit dismayed by the lack of footnotes, and the author explained the reasoning behind that in the epilogue.
After finishing The Romanov Sisters, The Last Days of the Romanovs seemed a logical choice for my next read. It picks up virtually where The Romanov Sisters left off. The book is told in a countdown form, with each chapter representing one day. It describes the background of each of the main players in the story, from Nicholas and Alexandra to their children, Dr. Botkin, and even the backgrounds of their future assassins and communist leaders. This is a very honest account of the end of the Roma...more
Apr 23, 2014 MeriBeth rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Historians, History Students, Romanov Fans
Shelves: history
Helen Rappaport's first book on the Romanov family is an intense yet bittersweet read. We all know how the story will end. The tragedy of the last Imperial Family of Russia is well known to nearly everyone; however, Ms. Rappaport manages to make the story personal. We meet the family and travel alongside them from Tobolsk to Ekaterinberg. We share the intimacy of their imprisonment as the restrictions on them increase until the last day.

And yet for all that intensity... for all the knowledge th...more
Laura Bray
(Maybe a little bit of a spoiler, but not really, if you are even a little acquainted with the events.)

Wow. This was a tough one to read, but very interesting and covering a period of history that I know little about. I knew about the execution, of course, but this book explains the events that led up to it, the event itself, and the aftermath.

Chapter 15 (the execution itself) was pretty difficult to read. These were real people, and five of them were under 20 (the youngest was 14). And the Bols...more
A well-written and researched narrative detailing the terrible final days in July, 1918, when the Romanov family was imprisoned and eventually executed in the wake of the Bolshevik revolution. We all know the basic story, of course, but here is a very up-close and personal look at the family as they prayed and waited and endured horrors no living being should ever have to face. Each chapter provides snippets of history (remember, these were also the last days of World War I) as well as glimpses...more
Ali Stone
One of my favorite historical books. Being fairly interested in the execution of the Romanov family, this books gives day to day details that follow close to the last fews days the Romanovs had to live. An added bonus to reading this book was that instead of focusing on one side of the story, it supported both the sides of the Czar of Russia, Nicholas II, and the poor starving citizens of Russia. A very exciting book to read.
I'll admit: I was thrilled. I read it in one sitting, despite being bone tired and needing to physically keep my eyes open. I was shocked, enthralled, Enchanted, amused and distraught, all in one night. That's an emotional rollercoaster if I've ever heard one.

I don't need to tell you the synopsis - 2000 other reviewers put that together for you. I will tell you why you should read this book:

If you don't know that much about the Russian revolution, read this book. It fills in the blanks of there...more
Jeff R.
I read this book because the topic intrigued me. If it weren't for my sincere interest to learn about these events I never would have made it through. The last 70 pages are fantastic. Other than that, I may as well have been reading a text book. I'm glad I know the history, but there has to be an easier way to learn it!
Thomas Andrikus
Feb 07, 2011 Thomas Andrikus rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: History lovers, Russian lovers
Shelves: favourites
This is the best historical biography of any individual(s) I've ever read so far. Even if you're not into Russian life&culture, this book would provide a fetchingly detailed, gripping, and harrowing account into the very last days of this Russian monarchical end which is still revered by its people till this very day.
An excellent look at the final few weeks of the Romanovs incarceration. The events are told in great detail with a narrative that flows well, making it read more as fiction than the non-fiction it actually is. The book is very well researched and the murders and the immediate events there after are examined in great detail and sort out of a lot pseudo-facts that have been handed down in the nearly 100 years since the murders. The discussion of the psychological aspect of the incarceration and ho...more
At times the book was slow, but I loved it! Well written and well researched. I recommend it to anyone interested in the Romanov Dynasty. I also recommend they read Nicholas and Alexandra by Massie to get a full picture of the Tsar's struggles as Tsar and how certain circumstances seemed out of his control; circumstances that led to his an his family's downfall. Of course no one is without sin and of course Tsar Nicholas II made mistakes, but when takes into account his entire life, you can symp...more
Mar 22, 2014 Megan rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one
Oh, where to begin? Where to begin? I bought this book in December 2012 while I was on an HPB run on lunch from a cataloging workshop. I wasn't expecting high scholarship, if only from the terrible cover. To the smart aleck saying not to judge books by their covers, let me take a second and tell you why this cover is worthy of judgment. It's anyone's guess why this woman decided to put a cover on said book featuring a red-tinted, badly-shopped image of the 1902 Rothschild egg over the 1914 Livad...more
Shawna Scott
This has to be one of the best books I ever read about the ill-fated last imperial family of Russia since Robert K. Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra. Even when I was finished reading it still had me thinking about how terrible it all was. The tumultuous revolution that swept through Russia at the time, leading to the beginning of the violent oppression that was the Soviet Union, the fact that no one could save this inevitably doomed family from their own tragic fate, and that not even the Romanov...more
This certainly was a departure from the more romanticized Romanov family books I've read in the past. The author didn't try to sugar coat the many passages regarding Nicholas' shortcomings, or Alexandra's domineering (and dominating) attitude over the Czar. She shone a light on some of the more sensitive family encounters, and went into great detail in regards to the thoughts and doings of the family's captors.

I appreciated the information, and the obvious research that went into the novel, but...more
This book documents the last two weeks of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family in confinement in the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg, known officially as the "House of Special Purpose". The Imperial family were locked away behind a high wooden palisade and white washed windows for 13 days from 4th July to 17th July 1918 when they were taken to the basement of the house and shot.

Readers should be warned that the chapters that deal with the killings and the disposal of the bodies are very detai...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Court of the Last Tsar: Pomp, Power and Pageantry in the Reign of Nicholas II
  • The Camera and the Tsars: The Romanov Family in Photographs
  • A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra: Their Own Story
  • The Flight Of The Romanovs A Family Saga
  • Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra
  • The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II
  • From Splendor to Revolution: The Romanov Women, 1847--1928
  • Nicholas and Alexandra: The Last Tsar and Tsarina
  • Alexandra: The Last Tsarina
  • King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led The World To War
  • The Romanovs: The Final Chapter
  • Alix and Nicky: The Passion of the Last Tsar and Tsarina
  • Michael and Natasha: The Life and Love of Michael II, the Last of the Romanov Tsars
  • The Quest for Anastasia: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Romanovs
  • Anastasia's Album: The Last Tsar's Youngest Daughter Tells Her Own Story
  • Anastasia: The Lost Princess
  • George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I
  • The Romanovs: Autocrats of All the Russians
Born in Bromley, England, Helen Rappaport studied Russian at Leeds University but
ill-advisedly rejected suggestions of a career in the Foreign Office and opted for the acting profession. After appearing on British TV and in films until the early 1990s she abandoned acting and embraced her second love - history and with it the insecurities of a writer’s life.

She started out contributing to biogra...more
More about Helen Rappaport...
The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra A Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert, and the Death That Changed the British Monarchy Capturing the Light: The Birth of Photography, a True Story of Genius and Rivalry Conspirator: Lenin in Exile Beautiful For Ever

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