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Peter the Great

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  30 ratings  ·  8 reviews
There has never been a more remarkable national leader in modern history than Peter the Great (1672–1725). He was a giant in every way. In physical stature, willpower, enthusiasm, energy, libertinism, and refusal to accept old conventions, he stood head and shoulders above his contemporaries. He grew up in an atmosphere of fear, suspicion, and court rivalries that often as ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published February 5th 2009)
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When Lenin was asked what he thought of the French Revolution, his answer was, "It's too early to tell." Even though Peter I, Tsar of Russia, died almost 300 years ago, it is still difficult to determine whether he was a tyrant or a benefactor, or both. His accomplishments are legendary, yet he failed to completely remake a conservative agrarian society in a Western European look-alike, and he never would. At the same time he was establishing an Academy of Sciences, building a new capital city, ...more
Robin Fox
Took some getting into, but quite enjoyed it when I did
Tyler Windham
"‘The Swede from here will be frightened;
Here a great city will be wrought
To spite our neighborhood conceited.
From here by Nature we’re destined
To cut a door to Europe wide,
To step with a strong foot by waters.
Here, by the new for them sea-paths,
Ships of all flags will come to us –
And on all seas our great feast opens.’"
-"The Bronze Horsemen" by Aleksandr Pushkin

Peter the Great was one of the most interesting human beings ever to grace the stage of life, in fact Voltaire insisted that he was on
As a kid watching Wild Kingdom each week we rooted for the featured animal. So one week we were hoping the little gazelle would get away from the lion because it was the star and the next week we were hoping the lion would capture the gazelle. That is how I feel when I read biographies. If it is on Elizabeth I, I want her to outwit Catherine de Medici; if it is on Catherine, I want her to find the upper-hand somehow. With this book on Peter the Great, I wasn’t sure who I was supposed to root for ...more
Ian Lorenz
This book was decent and brief. Excellent as an introduction or for the casual reader with an interest. A quality overview of an important monarch. If one was looking for an in depth look at Peter the Great I would recommend a book of the same name by Robert Massie.
Chantal E. R. H.
17th book of 2010. After reading about Catherine the Great, I of course had to read about Peter the Great. To be cliche, a man larger than life in every single way. My main problem with this book was that it was too short and glossed over some areas. I definitely recommend it for anyone who is interested in Russian history and who doesn't know much about Peter.
Azeem Ali
I read this book during my trip to Russia, which really brought it to life.
Great history read
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Aka Jonathan Kane

Derek Alan Wilson (aka Jonathan Kane aka Hugh Preston) is a leading biographer and the author of several critically acclaimed and bestselling books including The Astors; Hans Holbein; and more recently, The King and the Gentleman, about Charles Stuart and Oliver Cromwell.

Derek Wilson graduated from Cambridge in 1961, and spent several years travelling and teaching in Africa befor
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