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The Rasputin File

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  1,117 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
From the bestselling author of Stalin and The Last Tsar comes The Rasputin File, a remarkable biography of the mystical monk and bizarre philanderer whose role in the demise of the Romanovs and the start of the revolution can only now be fully known.

For almost a century, historians could only speculate about the role Grigory Rasputin played in the downfall of tsarist Russi
ebook, 576 pages
Published May 12th 2010 by Anchor (first published January 1st 2000)
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Rebecca McNutt
Hey, does anybody else recall that song by Boney M?
...Sorry. Anyway, The Rasputin File is quite an extensive book on this often quite bizarre historical figure, including details I never even knew. If you're into history, biographies or Russian culture, this is definitely a book I would recommend.
Just a little over a year ago, I asked Santa to bring me some books on historical bastards. This was one of the treats that Santa (or rather, NikNak) responded with.

Prior to reading this, the only thing I really knew about Rasputin was that he was apparently Russia’s greatest love machine (thanks, Boney M). I now know that he was actually just Russia’s most persistent lech, but I also learnt a lot more (including the surprising revelation that this all happened so recently. Thanks to the ready a
Jul 26, 2007 Smashpanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for a friend and even though my interest on the topic was minimal at the beginning of the work I was completely drawn into the entire Russian empire at that time by the time I was finished. The author gives you more than just a Rasputin biography here which is the main pulling point of this work of non-fiction; he gives you a background and history lesson of the entire Russian court and all of the key players in history at that time rather than just following the path of Rasputi ...more
Dec 18, 2009 Nathan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Awful. Radzinsky's one strong point is his access to the titular file, which enables him to reveal information not found in other accounts of Rasputin and the Romanovs. But he is not a good enough writer to handle the information; this is a clunky, unbearably boring book, full of characters who don't do anything and events that don't portend anything and prose that barely means anything. I don't know if his choppy, fragmented style is the result of something lost in translation, but this was pai ...more
Mar 24, 2012 Sera rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, own
For a man who is incredibly fascinating, this book was a real snoozefest.
Jan 22, 2011 Ally rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 27, 2013 J. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm just not enough of a history buff to read something quite this detailed, so maybe I have myself to blame for getting bogged down in this. It isn't a bad telling, but it is really detailed at times. And I do have to say that the severe overuse of sentence fragments is pretty distracting.

Having said all of that, the ending is a pretty serious payoff. The author describes "the facts" of what happened the evening of the murder, then tells what he thinks REALLY happened, and that's where it reall
Jul 18, 2007 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got this book as a birthday present from Nick a bunch of years ago and I have finally just gotten around to reading it. Before I even begin, let me just say that I am big into Russian history. Prior to reading this book, I mostly was interested in the Lenin and Stalin periods of Russian history, but this book definately made me want to know more about the period right before it. This book is so great because it is written so much like a novel. It's really exciting and dramatic as the author us ...more
Steve Shilstone
This book explains how a mystic peasant holy man debauchee came to darn near rule Russia via his tremendous influence over the tsarina Alexandra, who herself was the power behind her husband Nick's throne.
Aug 15, 2013 Dorotea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating all around. I couldn't put it down for the longest time.
Jun 01, 2012 Sasha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My interest in anything Romanov occasionally borders with obsession so if there is a book about this subject,you can bet I will read it.
Found this one in local bookshop and of course had to buy it although at this point I am very familiar with the story,but here we have fresh files (unearthed from somewhere and sold on Sotheby's auction,presented as a gift to author),photos and less known characters.

It is a huge,occasionally very exhausting story that covers not only royal family and their inner
Moon Rose
Paganism has made an indelible mark in Christianity from the time of its birth, incorporating its antiquated mystic culture into the mainstream of its belief unbeknownst mostly to all, yet it is deeply ingrained in the tradition of the Christian thought. It has somehow created a convoluted world of endless discord in the pursuit of which is the truth, or which is the false.

The mysticism that envelops the figure of Rasputin during the last days of Tsarist Russia best illustrates this fusion of da
Hessa Issa
Jul 25, 2013 Hessa Issa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If only all biographies were like this..
I really loved it and I was really sad when it ended, which is surprising, seeing how I don't get too attached to non-fiction, but those were real people which makes it all that much sadder.
Rasputin's death has always been this bewildering legend to me, and to have it explained and rationalized, it takes the magic out of it. I felt like a child finding out that Santa or the Tooth Fairy don't exist anymore. It was very disenchanting.
I love this biography
Feb 18, 2011 Braxton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best book about Grigori Rasputin I have found. It is interesting, and not at all dry and boring like a lot of historical books. This book practically wrote an eight page research paper for me. Out of a whole stack of books about Rasputin, this was the one I kept coming back too for references.
Jun 04, 2014 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gente que le apasiona la historia de Rusia
Un libro construido a partir de los hechos y que ayudan a colocar a Rasputín en un marco histórico concreto con su historia y su circunstancia.

Este libro complementa a otros como Nicolás y Alejandra así como El Fin de los Romanov. Una persona clave y que al final de todo era un ser humano que desgraciadamente sus obras socavaron las bases de la monarquía rusa.

Un enigma del siglo XX.
Timothy Boyd
Jul 25, 2015 Timothy Boyd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most misunderstood and scariest men every to live. This book covers his life from his discovery as a humble monk to the man behind the throne of Russia. A slow to read but very interesting book. Very Recommended
Mar 02, 2015 Bettie☯ marked it as wish-list  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cheryl

4* The Last Tsar
WL The Rasputin File
Jul 04, 2009 Ns rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great writer; great access to materials.
Angelique Simonsen
Well he wasn't the man I thought he was. the other thing I learnt is that you never meddle in Russian politics
Feb 19, 2017 Dewey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
In the 90's, the Russian historian Edvard Radzinsky got ahold of a file long thought lost: the interrogations of the Extraordinary Commission, following the February Revolution, of everybody associated with the infamous peasant mystic, Grigory Efimovich Rasputin, whose reputation has since become known the world over in a way that no Siberian mystic has ever accomplished outside of Russia. Radzinsky proceeded to distill the information in these files into this book, the Rasputin File, which has ...more
Jan 20, 2015 Martin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd recommend this book - with one caveat - for anyone who's fascinated by early Twentieth Century Russian history, or a general interest in some of the events that led up to the First World War.

The only significant issue it suffers from is the fact that the author and/or translator makes it a rather heavy-going read, so quite a bit of patience is needed to see it through to the end. If you persevere with it though, I'd say it's a thorough and insightful attempt to explain a very complicated and
Jul 22, 2015 Ollie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to imagine a biography of Rasputin being complete without the documents that Radzinsky has unearthed. These are the police reports, official testaments and interviews with the different people that had a chance to interact with the man. Long thought destroyed, they magically popped up in an auction in Paris, and as luck would have it Radzinky got a hold of them.

Radzinsky most definitely makes an exhaustive attempt of telling what Rasputin's life was like and who people believed he was
Diane Supinski
The one thing I will say about this book is that it definitely had a lot of information as well as a large cast of characters. That is why I gave it a rating of 3 stars. I tried to keep track of everyone, and the reference guide at the beginning of the book helped, but it still was confusing. I also think the author put in too many excerpts from the "file" The "file" was the main source of reference for the book. Having said that, I still got the gist of it, which is, an uneducated peasant had a ...more
Whew. Took me a long time to get through this one. I guess I liked it, but I can't give a rave review. Although I learned quite a few facts and factoids about Rasputin and this period of Russian history, I don't feel I gained any understanding of the man, his contemporaries or the times. However, that might have been the author's point: it was a crazy time, and Rasputin and his motivations may be impossible to understand. Given that, I don't think that the much-touted "Rasputin File" shed as muc ...more
Allison Grindle
I was disappointed by this book. I feel I don't know much more about Rasputin the person despite a long 500-page slog through this book. I don't know if the writing felt clumsy because of the translation or because the author is a poor writer. You can certainly tell he is a TV presenter as his fragmented sentences would clearly lend themselves to a dramatic TV show. The cast of characters is enormous and you don't necessarily gain much by reading about all the minor people. What apparently place ...more
Nov 07, 2012 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, russia
When I was young I thought that Rasputin was fictional like Ebenezer Scrooge or Simon Legree--a exaggerated character representing a real truth. Rasputin was not a made up character. He was a real living person who figured heavily in the lives of the Romanov family and the lead up to the Russian Revolution, but the true history of his life is not easy to discover.

This book purports to use original letters, diaries and police reports to present an unbiased biography of Rasputin, but it doesn't qu
With a background in dramatics, Radzinsky clearly wrote this book with that element in mind. He demonstrated that he could be either melodramatic and sometimes even condescending in many parts of his work where it was unwarranted. His thoughts and series of conclusions are often flawed and not based on supporting evidence. For example, he prefered to assume that the Yar incident had occurred rather than carefully examine the relevant depositions in the File he had the unique opportunity to acces ...more
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Radzinsky (Russian: Эдвард Радзинский) is an author of more than forty popular non-fiction books on historical subjects. Since the 1990s, he has written the series Mysteries of History. The books translated to English include his biographies of Tsars Nicholas II and Alexander II, Rasputin, and Joseph Stalin. His book Stalin: The First In-depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents from Russia ...more
More about Edvard Radzinsky...

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“En aquella misma época Rasputín empezó a hacer recomendaciones graciosas a los zares. "Encuentra que deberías ordenar a las faktorías [fábricas] que fabricasen municiones, simplemente tú da la orden; incluso elegir qué faktoría, si te muestran una lista [...]. Sé más autocrático, Cariño mío, muestra tu voluntad (14/06/1915).

Es curioso, pero Rasputín sugería medidas que recuerdan al imperio bolchevique de los tiempos de Stalin, que durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial convirtió, con mano de hierro, todas las fábricas para suplir las necesidades del frente. Rasputín propondría lo mismo: "29 de agosto de 1915 [...] Pero Nuestro Amigo cree que más fábricas deberían hacer munición, además de las mercancías que producen".

¡Y el zar trataba de llevar a cabo tales sugerencias! Junto con la nacionalización y la militarización de las fábricas, se efectuó la expropiación obligatoria de los productos alimenticios de los campesinos y terratenientes. Se hacía todo lo que aconsejaba Rasputín. [...] Algunas de las medidas que fueron instituidas durante el comunismo de guerra después de la Revolución, de hecho ya habían sido propuestas antes de Lenin por el campesino ruso Grigori Rasputín. Y llevadas a cabo por el último zar.”
“Poco antes de su muerte, el campesino había empezado a hablar con la zarina de un aumento de "la paga a todos los oficiales pobres del país" para reforzar la maquinaria del Estado en tiempos difíciles. Su idea de cómo obtener el dinero para ello suena divertida en boca de la zarina de Rusia: "siempre se puede obtener dinero de algunos capitales", escribiría Alix a su marido el 25 de septiembre de 1916. Es decir, simplemente apoderarse del dinero de los ricos.

Aquel antiguo sueño campesino también sería puesto en práctica por los bolcheviques. No era ninguna casualidad que Bonch-Bruévich, el futuro amigo íntimo de Lenin, camarada de armas y fundador de la sangrienta Checa, se mostrara en sus artículos encantado con el "inteligente e ingenioso campesino". [...] Para poner a prueba su "don de conocer a la gente", Bonch-Bruévich mostró a Rasputín un retrato de cierta persona querida. Al ver el retrato, escribió Bonch-Bruévich:

"Rasputín se puso muy nervioso. "¿Quién es? Dime, ¿quién es?". Se precipitó hacia la pared de donde colgaba el cuadro en el que estaba pintado el rostro orgulloso e inteligente de un hombre mayor.
"¡Bueno, es alguien importante! ¡Dios mío! ¡Es un Sansón, amigo mío, un verdadero Sansón, sí señor! ¡Preséntamelo! ¡Iremos a verle ahora mismo! ¡Es alguien a quien deberían seguir regimientos enteros!" Y Rasputín se apresuró a encender una luz eléctrica que había junto al cuadro para poder observar mejor la cara de aquel hombre extraordinario. Le dije que se trataba de Karl Marx".”
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