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Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  2,294 ratings  ·  205 reviews
A vivid and compelling account of the final thirteen days of the Romanovs, counting down to the last, tense hours of their lives.

On 4 July 1918, a new commandant took control of a closely guarded house in the Russian town of Ekaterinburg. His name was Yakov Yurovsky, and his prisoners were the Imperial family: the former Tsar Nicholas, his wife Alexandra, and their child
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 2nd 2009 by Windmill Books (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
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.
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
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
“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
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.
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
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
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
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
I was confused by this book. Each chapter has a date, but within the chapter she skips around to all different times. Maybe if I had read it in a more focused way, rather than a little bit here and a little bit there, I would have followed it better. Also, I felt she invented details to make the "story" flow, when there is no possible way she could have known those. Morbidly, this is my best example. When they were executing the family, she filled in details about people cowering in corners and ...more
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
I didn't really want to read a second book on this subject, but then made the mistake of just perusing the pictures! I found she had a much more in-depth story on the Romanov tragedy. I do mean IN-DEPTH! I had to skim through a lot of it as it was SO wordy. However, it was nice to answer some of the questions I had after reading the Romanov Family book.
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.
S. Shelton
This powerful account of the Romanovs’ internment and regicide at “The House of Special Purpose” at Ekaterinburg, July 1918, is compelling, evocative, and horrifying. I suspect that Rappaport’s book on this ghoulish event is the most meticulously researched and accurate account of the Bolshevik’s liquidation of Czar Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra, and their five children.

She weaves the historical events in a storybook style that imbues life into the Royal Family. We look askance at the Czar who
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
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
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
A Helen Rappaport realizou um trabalho de pesquisa sem igual sobre o assassinato da família Romanov, esclarece as contradições e especulações que foram levantadas durante muito tempo sobre o assunto.

O destino da família Romanov já tinha praticamente sido traçado desde a sua mudança para Ekaterinburg, os últimos meses antes do assassinato foram uma série de reuniões entre os líderes bolcheviques para decidir como tudo seria realizado, nunca foi um ato impulsivo de um determinado grupo do partid
I had previously read The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra by Helen Rappaport and I really enjoyed her style of narration and how well she fostered a connection between myself and girls who have been dead for almost 100 years. This book is a continuation of the last as it details the last month of the lives of the Romanov family before their murders. I was a little apprehensive to read this on the heels of the last book since she did detail a bit of thei ...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.
Feisty Harriet
It is difficult to cram the decline and eventual fall of Imperial Russia and the rise of the Bolsheviks, Lenin, and Stalin into one book, and thankfully Rappaport doesn't attempt to do this. Instead she focuses her writing on the 3 months the Romanov family spent under house arrest in Ekaterinburg and the details of their execution and burial. While Rappaport does explain some of the larger political movements and background of the major players, she mostly concentrates on the personal lives of ...more
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
Carol Storm
Fairly interesting but the author insists on painting Nicholas and Alexandra as totally blameless for everything, which at times is very sad but other times is downright funny.
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
« 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
  • Michael and Natasha: The Life and Love of Michael II, the Last of the Romanov Tsars
  • The Flight Of The Romanovs A Family Saga
  • Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra
  • The Romanovs: The Final Chapter
  • A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra: Their Own Story
  • The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II
  • Alexandra: The Last Tsarina
  • Alix and Nicky: The Passion of the Last Tsar and Tsarina
  • From Splendor to Revolution: The Romanov Women, 1847--1928
  • King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led The World To War
  • Nicholas and Alexandra: The Last Tsar and Tsarina
  • Anastasia: The Lost Princess
  • The Quest for Anastasia: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Romanovs
  • Little Mother of Russia: A Biography of the Empress Marie Feodorovna (1847-1928)
  • Anastasia's Album: The Last Tsar's Youngest Daughter Tells Her Own Story
  • 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 biograp
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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