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The Romanovs: The Final Chapter

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  5,062 Ratings  ·  301 Reviews
In July 1991, nine skeletons were exhumed from a shallow mass grave near Ekaterinburg, Siberia, a few miles from the infamous cellar room where the last tsar and his family had been murdered seventy-three years before. But were these the bones of the Romanovs? And if these were their remains, where were the bones of the two younger Romanovs supposedly murdered with the res ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 1995)
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I have sad news. Anastasia is dead. Long dead. She died back in 1918 in a basement with her family. I am now convinced of this. Despite all the movies and claimants, she did not survive and escape. Meaning there is no hidden princess out there in the world. No unassuming person about to be uncovered and lavished with luxuries. Even more crushing, the probability that I am in fact a hidden princess is greatly diminished.

My ten year old self is devastated. In fifth grade, we had to script and act
This book is a departure for Robert Massie who has produced some extraordinarily readable research on the Romanovs. The book is history (his forte) but it is also journalism and a discussion of forensic science and law.

As a history buff, the beginning and ending parts were of most interest to me. Massie starts with a careful documentation of the murders of the Tsar and his family and how the news was managed by the Russian revolutionaries. The end deals with fate of other branches of the Romanov
May 28, 2015 Antigone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Roused from their beds at midnight, the bleary Imperial family is told they must move to the lower floors of the home in which they have been imprisoned. There is worry the local unrest will result in gunfire; there is a danger of stray bullets penetrating the quarters upstairs. They rise. They dress. It all makes an inconvenient sort of sense. They have heard the rumblings of artillery in the distance. And so they calmly descend to a dingy basement room where they are instructed to arrange them ...more
Jun 09, 2011 Darcy rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011, non-fiction
I had hoped that this book would give an intimate look at the last days of the family and just how they got to where they were before they were killed. The book did cover this very briefly, but mostly it focused on the aftermath, of finding the bones in the grave, of debunking the imposters, petty turf wars among the scientific community in their search for the truth, and petty disagreements of the remaining family members of just who is really the "head" of the family now that the original fami ...more
Sotiris Karaiskos
Αυτό το βιβλίο το διάβασα κατά λάθος, αλλά περίμενα να βρω και άλλα βρήκα, παρόλα αυτά όμως συνέχισα με την ανάγνωση. Το βιβλίο είναι ουσιαστικά μία περιγραφή όσων ακολούθησαν την εκτέλεση του τελευταίου Τσάρου και της οικογένειας του μέχρι την ανακάλυψη του τόπου ταφής τους και την αναγνώρισή τους με τη βοήθεια της τεχνολογίας. Ένα όχι ιδιαίτερα ενδιαφέρον θέμα για εμένα, για αυτό και δυσκολεύομαι να το βαθμολογήσω. Το συνιστώ μόνο ως επίλογο του άλλου βιβλίου του συγγραφέα για αυτό το θέμα, το ...more
Jan 18, 2017 Marie rated it really liked it
The Romanovs: The Final Chapter reads like an elegy and a true crime novel. It is, by turns, both darkly horrific and deeply moving. It's also a really great supplement to Nicholas and Alexandra.

I read the latter over the holidays and was completely swept away. Robert K. Massie has an uncanny talent for making 500+ pages of pre-Revolutionary Russian history just fly by. In fact, he's become one of my favorite biographers.

The Romanovs: The Final Chapter is no different. It takes place shortly a
Having just read and loved Robert K. Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra, I pounced on this one with somewhat unseemly glee. Alas, this was mostly about a group of academics squabbling over old bones and just it didn't grab me. Bottom line spoiler: (view spoiler) If you are interested in an updated version of the DNA testing, Google: 'Romanov, bones'!
Oct 09, 2016 Patricia rated it liked it
After rereading the author's Nicholas and Alexandra (first published in 1967) I decided to pick this up for more on the Romanovs. It was published in 1995 and some significant discoveries were made after this date (including the discovery of the bones of Alexei and Maria). And the chapters on Anna Anderson (who thought herself Anastasia) and the Romanov relations got a little tedious. But Massie is an excellent writer and I learned more interesting details of the Romanov story.
Moon Rose
Give strength, Just God, to us who need it,
The persecutors to forgive,
Our heavy, painful cross to carry
And Thy great meekness to achieve.

When we are plundered and insulted
In days of mutinous unrest
We turn for help to Thee, Christ-Savior,
That we may stand the bitter test.

Lord of the world, God of Creation,
Give us Thy blessing through our prayer
Give peace of heart to us, O Master,
This hour of utmost dread to bear.

And on the threshold of the grave
Breathe power divine into our clay
That we, Thy chil
Rachel Jackson
Dec 29, 2013 Rachel Jackson rated it it was amazing
I have no other person to credit for my interest in the Romanovs, Russian history and Russia itself than Robert K. Massie. I first read his book Nicholas and Alexandra when I was about seven years old, and although much of it was way over my head, it remained among my all-time favorites, and I've reread it numerous times over the years. The Final Chapter takes my interest a hundred times farther by finishing the story as best as Massie could in the 1990s post-Soviet collapse.

The Final Chapter re
Dec 09, 2016 Kiwi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nf-history, nf-bio
Warning: Not for the squeamish reader, this book contains detailed descriptions of the bodies of the murdered Tzar, his family and three of their loyal servants. When reading the passages related to the forensic analysis, I felt quite uncomfortable.

In 1918, news of the tragic death of the Romanov shocked the world, since then, many have tried to solve the mystery regarding what happened. The book tells the story in four parts: the first focuses on the search and identification of the human rema
Linda Lipko
Apr 22, 2011 Linda Lipko rated it it was amazing
Written in 1995, at the time of publication, only nine of the eleven bodies of the Romanov family and their servants were found. In 2007, the bodies of young Alexei and his sister Maria were discovered.

Massie is the author of the classic, well-documented and meticulously researched book Nicholas and Alexandra. Obviously, still interested in the fate of Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra and their five children, Massie, tenaciously pursued the details surrounding the discovery of the remains in a wo
Dec 03, 2011 Lynne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people interested in Russian history and particularly of the downfall of the Romanovs
Recommended to Lynne by: myself
Shelves: history
The Romanovs chronicles the discovery and identification of nine sets of bones found in a shallow grave near Ekaterinburg, where Tsar Nicholas and his family spent their final days. Massie, author of Nicholas and Alexandra, had been very outspoken in renouncing all those who claimed to be the Tsarevich Alexei or the Grand Duchess Anastasia throughout the 20th century, so of course he had a keen interest in this find.

Several reviews criticize this book for lacking background information necessary
Dec 01, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it
I have long had a fascination with the Imperial Romanov family of Russia. I first encountered the history of the last Tsar many years ago through Robert Massie's book 'Nicholas and Alexandra'. In the past several years, many gorgeous books have been published, full of photos. I can hardly resist the opportunity to lose myself in the magnificent art, architecture, costume, and other details of the time. Every once in a while, I choose a book that takes me back to these times and enhances my learn ...more
Jun 05, 2011 Arsyn rated it really liked it
I have been an avid reader of anything having to do with the Romanov family for years. When I discovered this book, I must say I was ecstatic to finally see some scientific evidence pertaining to the tragic fall of the Last Tsar and his family.

Yes! That is exactly what this book provides. It describes years and years of research and archaeological work done in Russia both through historical documents and field work done in the supposed burial sites of the Romanov bodies. The evidence found is f
Oct 12, 2011 Wendy rated it really liked it
Kind of gruesome in some parts, although you probably won't think so if you're a fan of CSI or NCIS or any of those forensic crime shows. Also, it was published before some of the mysteries were solved or certain things were decided, even though people were in the process, and it hasn't been updated to include the solutions to any of the situations, if any. Other than that, it's really interesting, and in most cases, each person's point of view is represented fully and objectively. I enjoyed lea ...more
Apr 15, 2017 Bridget rated it liked it
This is an interesting book. Provides a good insight into the surviving Romanovs but is a bit heavy on the forensic science in parts.
Mar 17, 2017 Becky rated it really liked it
I got this book from the library thinking it would be about the final chapter of the lives of the Romanovs. Instead, it was about the final chapter of their deaths. That of course is my own fault for not figuring out what the book was before borrowing it from the library. But despite my surprise at the premise and the book not being quite what I was looking for, I found it really interesting. Solving this mystery with science and history had a lot more interpersonal drama and races to hold press ...more
Feb 28, 2017 Matthew rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: russian history fans, Romanov fans, history fans,
Shelves: 4-5

Such an intricately written, researched and thought-out novel, from the byzantine mind of Pulitzer-Prize winning author Robert K. Massie. The start drags a little (I mean, this is quite literally a book all about the methods of which the Romanov family were buried and the long process to identify the bones) but it eventually picks up, when Massie begins to chronicle the curious case of Anna Anderson/Anastasia Manahan and all the other charlatans/mentally ill people convinced they were one of
Elizabeth Sulzby
Dec 13, 2015 Elizabeth Sulzby rated it really liked it
My only quibble with this book is the title. While this book is about the Romanovs around the time of the 1917 revolution, the imprisonment and murders of the Tsar and his family, the bulk of the book is about the Anastasia pretenders, and particularly about Anna Anderson/Anna Monahan. Purely by accident I met two of the pretenders whose photos appear in this book. In 1974 my husband and I were invited to accompany another couple to a cocktail party in honor of Eugenia Smith, from Illinois, who ...more
Oct 09, 2012 Danielle rated it liked it
Shelves: 20-in-14
Where I've torn through Massie's other books, this one took me quite a while to finish. Extremely informative as always, but the emphasis of the first third of the book is on the science and confusion of determining the bones of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, the 2nd third is on the legal challenges to the bones as well as the legal proceedings of several imposters/family members and others and the final third regards the descendants and claims to the nonexistent crown.

Everything is interesti
May 25, 2010 Julie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, non-fiction, romanov
The follow-up to the highly addictive Nicholas and Alexandra was equally riveting. While the first book was published long before any remains were discovered, the second book explores the unearthing of the royal family’s final resting place, the authentication of the bones, the contention of a variety involved parties and the mystery of whether there were any survivors.

The first part of the book dealt with the identification of the remains. I had to slow down a bit to really absorb the various
Aug 05, 2011 Brooke rated it really liked it
An absolute must-read for anyone interested in not only the Romanovs, but also Russian history or forensic science.

I recently returned from living in St. Petersburg where I visited the mass grave of the Romanovs and their servants in Peter and Paul Fortress, saw icons of Nicholas II as saint/martyr in several churches, and watched news reports on memorial services held in Ekaterinburg on the anniversary of the murder. If you've experienced Russia or read a lot of Russian history, you unders
Maan Kawas
Oct 17, 2014 Maan Kawas rated it it was amazing
A very beautiful book that provides lots of details about the final night in the life of Tsar Nicholas II Romanov and his family and the few others were with them, the murder of the family in 1918 and its aftermath, and the discovery of nine of the eleven bodies of the Romanov family (the other two were discovered in 2007), and the following scientific investigations. The book is a kind of detailed account of the investigations (forensic, lab test, DNA, etc..) took place in order to find and ide ...more
Kasey Jane
Jun 30, 2016 Kasey Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, history, 2016
This book was exactly what I wanted out of my nonfiction at the time I read it.

Massie's book began as a historical mystery: what happened to the Russian royal family? Rumors and flights of fancy had persisted in the public consciousness for over seventy years, and finally there was a breakthrough.

From there, it veered into the territory of a forensic thriller. In the early 1990s, the use of DNA analysis in criminal investigations was in its infancy. The identification of the Romanov's bones was
Helen Azar
Jan 31, 2010 Helen Azar rated it it was amazing
I am currently re-reading this book, which I originally read about 6 or 7 years ago... Having behind me several articles on the subject, as well as having worked in the Russian archives, I can now fully understand and appreciate the painful process described in this book. I feel the frustration and pain the key players experienced during this investigation,which should have been fairly straight forward. From the extremely dysfunctionally bureaucratic Russian system to the foolish rivalries among ...more
Sissa Maricaua
Nov 20, 2016 Sissa Maricaua rated it it was amazing
To anyone who has an interest for the execution, exhumation and forensic studies of the Romanovs, this is the book to go. I appreciate Robert K. Massie's approach on them, as a family that was victimized and murdered, how it happened and what's the aftermath. Big relieve not to see it went further on Nicholas II's politics. The fact the author chose to narrate the last momentos of the family at the end, after going through the murder, the finding of the remainings, the studies and the claimants, ...more
Jan 25, 2015 Emma rated it really liked it
This book concerns itself more with the discovery of the Romanov remains rather than their lives and death. It's fascinating to read about all the politics and intrigue involved in the discovery of the bodies. It's a bit dated, and so I was disappointed not to be able to read about the discovery of the final bodies and learn what happened there, but since it was written while all these discoveries were being made, it still felt fresh and taught me a lot about the subject.
Sep 04, 2015 Thomas rated it it was amazing
If you read Nicholas and Alexandra, this book is a must read. It begins with their deaths and follows through the location of their bodies. There was much legal wrangling through the story which became tedious to me. The DNA work was very interesting. I really enjoyed the book.
Feb 14, 2013 Joan rated it really liked it
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II
  • Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra
  • Alexandra: The Last Tsarina
  • A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra: Their Own Story
  • The Fate of the Romanovs
  • The Romanov Family Album
  • Nicholas and Alexandra: The Last Tsar and Tsarina
  • The Camera and the Tsars: The Romanov Family in Photographs
  • From Splendor to Revolution: The Romanov Women, 1847--1928
  • 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 Romanovs: Autocrats of All the Russias
  • Anastasia's Album
  • King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led The World To War
  • The Quest for Anastasia: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Romanovs
  • The Secret Plot to Save the Tsar: The Truth Behind the Romanov Mystery
  • Alix and Nicky: The Passion of the Last Tsar and Tsarina
Robert Kinloch Massie (born 1929) is an American historian, writer, winner of a Pulitzer Prize, and a Rhodes Scholar.

Born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1929, Massie spent much of his youth in Nashville, Tennessee and currently resides in Westchester County, New York in the village of Irvington. He studied American history at Yale University and modern European history at Oxford University on his Rhode
More about Robert K. Massie...

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“In Russia everything is a secret, but there is no secrecy.” 5 likes
“Petersburg to examine the uniforms, dresses, helmets,” 0 likes
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