Nancy Oakes's Reviews > The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II

The Last Tsar by Edvard Radzinsky
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's review
Feb 12, 2008

really liked it
Read in August, 2005

As I noted somewhere before, I continue to be fascinated with the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, with the whole history of the Russian czars and with the arrest and deaths of the last Czar, Nicholas II, and his family.

Rather than a dry history, Radzinsky uses documents that were opened from archives, personal histories & diaries from those individuals involved in the Romanov assassinations and from Nicholas & Alexandra themselves to create a very good study of what actually happened to Nicholas II and his family. After having read through the end, I was left with a vivid picture of what were the final days of the Romanovs. His research seems to be incredibly thorough.

Radzinsky is a playwright; his book comes out not in a general tone most often taken by historians -- it is very readable. Thank God there was a family tree showing both Nicholas & Alexandra's families in the front cover; I would have been totally lost without it. As it was, I probably should have xeroxed it instead of flipping back to it time after time, because I really needed it. I think it probably could have also used a map.

While the book has a few problems, overall it was very well done & a very welcome addition to my history library.
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