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Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,718 Ratings  ·  232 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 childre
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 2nd 2009 by Windmill Books (first published 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 26, 2016 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian-history
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
Oct 20, 2012 Marilyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 13, 2010 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Oct 24, 2011 Persephone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
After finishing The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra, I picked up this book hoping for more insight into the family and their last days at Tobolsk and Ekaterinburg. This was a riveting historical account, more tightly paced than The Romanov Sisters.

I didn't care for the off-topic meandering in The Romanov Sisters; however, I felt like the broader historical information in this book was not only on point, but vitally necessary in order to show how the Rom
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
Jun 05, 2009 Andy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Marilyn Moreau
Mar 28, 2016 Marilyn Moreau rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Rivals the Manson murders for the pure savagery. A shameful act. Book was very well written and well balanced. Made the Romanovs more human than Nicholas and Alexandra, which practically deified them.
May 05, 2014 Lorna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
Aug 24, 2014 Michelle Ule rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 28, 2009 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Apr 16, 2010 jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, non-fiction
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
Apr 02, 2009 Roger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 17, 2009 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 20, 2014 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 01, 2016 Todd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid and interesting account of the last days of the Romanovs, constructed from a variety of sources. Rappaport takes on the difficult task of rediscovering the events as they happened in spite of deliberate attempts to conceal them, romanticize them, or even fabricate them by others at the time and since. However, Rappaport herself seems to strongly identify with and romanticize her subject. In the first instance, she seems quite emotionally attached to Russia in general and has difficulty c ...more
Jan 28, 2016 Carter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rappaport brings the humanity back to the Romonov family as she examines their last fourteen days at Ekaterinburg. The focus is sharp, the narrative flows, but the greatest triumph for Rappaport is how she highlights the dimming sense of hope in the Ipatiev House. The Romonovs are political pawns, isolated from the outside world. They can't do anything to affect or escape their fate. We know what's coming; the dread lies in reading their monotonous daily trifles, their grinding routines to keep ...more
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
Laura Bray
Oct 14, 2014 Laura Bray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
(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
Jul 06, 2014 Kthxbai! rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 12, 2015 Deisy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 07, 2015 Kari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 09, 2013 Ali Stone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Rachel Reilly
I read this immediately following Helen Rappaport's more recent The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra, which I found to be equally compelling and morbidly fascinating. At first I was a bit skeptical about why an entire book was written about the last two weeks of the Romanovs' lives, because how much could there really be to say about the matter? It turns out that there was quite a bit to discuss. I loved how seamlessly Ms. Rappaport intertwined each day ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Fate of the Romanovs
  • The Flight Of The Romanovs: A Family Saga
  • Michael and Natasha: The Life and Love of Michael II, the Last of the Romanov Tsars
  • The Camera and the Tsars: The Romanov Family in Photographs
  • Alexandra: The Last Tsarina
  • A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra: Their Own Story
  • King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led The World To War
  • Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra
  • Nicholas and Alexandra: The Last Tsar and Tsarina
  • From Splendor to Revolution: The Romanov Women, 1847--1928
  • The Romanovs: The Final Chapter
  • The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II
  • Alix and Nicky: The Passion of the Last Tsar and Tsarina
  • Little Mother of Russia: A Biography of the Empress Marie Feodorovna (1847-1928)
  • The Quest for Anastasia: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Romanovs
  • Anastasia: The Lost Princess
  • Anastasia's Album: The Last Tsar's Youngest Daughter Tells Her Own Story
  • The Romanovs: Autocrats of All the Russias
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...

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