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The Race to Save the Romanovs: The Truth Behind the Secret Plans to Rescue Russia's Imperial Family

(The Romanov Sisters)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,212 ratings  ·  193 reviews
According to Hutchinson,The Race to Save the Romanovs is "an incredible detective story" that will piece together and reconstruct the complex behind-the-scenes royal, diplomatic and unofficial efforts to secure a sanctuary for the Romanovs. In the process it will reveal "bitter family rivalries, secret plans, a chain of blame and recrimination and devastating betrayals". ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 7th 2019 by Windmill Books (first published June 26th 2018)
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Susan Humeston As far as legitimate documentation goes, yes, it does deal with secret escape notes to and from the Tsar's family in the last days. There has been ram…moreAs far as legitimate documentation goes, yes, it does deal with secret escape notes to and from the Tsar's family in the last days. There has been rampant speculation for the past century, and the author is careful to note where there might be answers that still have not been found. Very interesting read.(less)

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July 17 2018 Marks the 100th year Anniversary of the murder of the Russian Imperial family -

I wanted to read another book on the Russian Imperial Family and when I listenend to Helen Helen Rappaport's interview on Dan Snows History Hit Podcast , I just had to get my hands on a copy ofThe Race to Save the Romanovs: The Truth Behind the Secret Plans to Rescue the Russian Imperial Family

Helen Rappaport an acclaimed historian and researcher has written in my opinion an extremely well researche
This, Helen Rappaport’s latest book, looks at the flow of events that led to the last Romanovs’ incarceration and subsequent assassination on July 17, 1918. It seeks to clarify what actually happened, separating fact from the rife speculations and confusion that has clouded history for a century. Who was killed and where and how and when? How did it come to be that the Romanovs, with family ties all over Europe, were not rescued? The blame game is played—who should be pointed at and who is at fa ...more
Valerity (Val)
It seems I’ve always had an affinity for the story of the Romanovs, reading books about them long ago and being interested in them for years. It’s just such a captivating tale, with the large wealthy family in Russia, the ill son that they all dote on, especially when he’s unwell. And of course, the crazy monk that seems to cast a spell over them when he is seemingly able to help several times when the illness was really bad.

This book mainly focuses on all the machinations to try to save the Ro
Gill Paul
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Romanovs were closely related to several European royal houses – the British, German and Danish in particular – so why did none of their relatives manage to save them after their arrest following the Revolution? And what of the Russian officers loyal to the monarchy who were said to be amassing in Tobolsk and Ekaterinburg? Why did none of their efforts succeed? Helen Rappaport tells a riveting tale of the political football the Romanov family became during their months of captivity. George V ...more
May 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Too much college textbook with lots of dates but was fascinated to learn that the Danish Government still has all of the records sealed on the death of Tsar Nicholas which happened over a 100 years ago !!
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
From the publisher ---
Investigating the murder of the Russian Imperial Family, Helen Rappaport embarks on a quest to uncover the various international plots and plans to save them, why they failed, and who was responsible.
The murder of the Romanov family in July 1918 horrified the world, and its aftershocks still reverberate today. In Putin's autocratic Russia, the Revolution itself is consid
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Going to place this one on the dnf shelf. It was a bit to detailed oriented for me. I was looking more for a story of the Romanovs than I was about the various designs that were thought of to save them.
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
A really, really good read if you're interested in this period and the last Imperial Family.

I liked that Rappaport didn't place blame on one particular person and analyzed all the information in a fairly unbiased way. The facts are laid out and it doesn't come off feeling like she's forcing her own opinions of the topic on us. My only complaint is that, at times, we bounce back and forth a bit in the timeline and it could get a bit confusing.

I highly recommend reading Rappaport's The Last Days
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great read! Easy enough to say now that “someone” should have saved the Romanovs, but Helen Rappaport, with her meticulous and exhaustive research, explores how indeed many people, including the crowned head of Europe, came up with plans and stratagems and machinations to do just that but how all these ideas were pretty much doomed from the start. And would the Tsar have agreed to leave Russia anyway? A fascinating and compelling examination of those terrible last days of the Romanovs.
Up until reading The Race to Save the Romanovs and one other newly written book I have had no knowledge of the killing of the Romanovs. It was not covered during my school years, nor was I ever drawn into discussions of Russia other than watching their wonderful gymnasts during the Olympics. This book was an eye opener and actually made be feel like I had been living blindly to previous world events. Helen Rappaport's The Race to Save the Romanovs was well written, easy to comprehend and made me ...more
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have forever been fascinated by the story of the last of the Romanovs. Any news item, any documentary: I'm in! Therefore, I really was interested in this book. With all the power and influence held by European royalty during the first 20 years of the 20th century, I wanted to know why they were never given asylum or taken to safety.
This book explains that in clear terms. There was a combination of so many elements that, in retrospect, what happened seems almost inevitable. Had the
Revolution in
Kristi Thielen
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Solid work of scholarship and very readable, too. Rappaport details why virtually every royal family (or government) in Europe considered rescuing the imperiled Czar, Czarina and family – and why they ultimately didn’t.

A loathing for the breathtakingly snobbish Alexandra certainly played a part, but political factors did as well. The Russian Revolution had unsettled not just Russia, but had created unrest among the laboring classes in countries as far away as Great Britain. Sovereigns such as K
Terri Wangard
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not being a Russophile, I was unaware of the blame game going on as to whose fault it was that the Romanov family was killed. With all of the royal families in Europe being related, one of them should have whisked the family to safety.

England’s King George gets the biggest rap, but Germany’s Emperor Wilhelm seems to have been in a better position, since Germany was dictating terms in the war with Russia. Plus, most of the Romanov women had been German princesses.

Helen Rappaport points out so man

Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Note: I received an advanced reader copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley)

Helen Rappaport returns again to the ends days of the Russian Empire with a deep look at all the attempts made behind the scenes to try and protect the lives Tsar Nicholas II and his family. The author leaves absolutely no stone unturned in her extensive coverage, and gives attention from everything ranging from behind the scenes diplomatic wrangling and arguing in Europe's halls of power to a surprisingly wide array o
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I gave it only 2 stars because, although the subject interests me, by the middle of the book I found myself skimming. It was too dry for me. I found the first 1/3 fascinating.

Ben House
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
In late December of 1977, I landed in Leningrad, Russia and begin looking at everything around me in that dark, cold, foreboding land. The mornings began not with sunrise but with darkness that pervaded the northern climate until late–after 10 am–and then the daylight hours ended early in the afternoon. And then there was the bitter cold, the sterile feel of the Communist state, the indifference of store workers to their customers, and the feeling of regimentation, oppression, and chains. Still, ...more
This story is just so sad to me. I didn’t love the book, but I am glad I read it. It gave me insight into that time period and all the decisions that were made or not made that ended up in the loss of that entire family.
This book was fascinating. It is a tragic read, because you already know how it ends: despite all Nicholas' and Alexandra's powerful royal relatives and the assorted plans and schemes for rescue, these plots were of course ultimately futile. The Bolsheviks who had been guarding them brutally murdered the Tsar and his family on July 17, 1918 in Ekaterinburg. The author explores all of the possibilities and why they were doomed, really, almost from the start. Internal politics. The war, and other ...more
Лола Акбулдина
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I can't even imagine how difficult it was for the author to find all the information and connect it into a single chain to answer the question why the Romanovs family wasn't saved, despite their numerous relatives all over Europe. An equally important question asked in the book is, would they want to leave if they had an opportunity? The book gives a lot of details and sometimes it seemed to me that not everyone will be able to finish it. But for those who are really interested in this period of ...more
Carolyn Harris
A thoroughly researched analysis of the obstacles to rescuing Czar Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra and their children in 1917-1918. Rappaport argues that there was a very narrow window of opportunity for the Imperial family to escape because of the internal political situation within Russia. Rappaport includes her own notes on her research process and how she built on the work of previous authors who have examined efforts to rescue the Romanovs by Europe's monarchs.

I found Rappaport's analysis o
Stacie (MagicOfBooks)
I will also do a video review here at my channel:

"The Race to Save the Romanovs" by Helen Rappaport is a work of nonfiction that goes into depth about the attempted rescue attempts to save Russia's imperial family, none of which succeeded.

I've sad it before, I'll say it again, I really enjoy Helen Rappaport's nonfiction, especially when it comes to the Romanovs. She has such a way that she makes history exciting and interesting without reading like a boring te
First sentence: In April 1894 the last of a succession of royal dynastic marriages engineered by Queen Victoria as 'Grandmama of Europe' took place in Coburg, the capital of the German Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine.

Premise/plot: The title says it all. This one is about "the race" to "save" the Romanovs. Of course, the Romanovs were not saved. There may have been many people from quite a few countries talking about trying to save, making plans and plotting. Though they had a LOT of relatives in MAN
Eric Lee
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This week marks the 100th anniversary of the murder of the Russian imperial family by the Bolsheviks. Among those killed were not only the hated Tsar Nicholas and his wife Alexandra, but also their five children and the servants. It is now generally accepted that the murder was a barbaric act, and these days it is marked by pilgrimages of many thousands of Russians to the site of the crime.

Helen Rappaport’s book, completed just in time to mark the anniversary, is the latest attempt by a historia
Jill Meyer
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Race to Save the Romanovs" is British historian Helen Rappaport's fourth book about the Romanovs and the Russian Revolution. As she states in her forward, she'd covered every part of the Romanov's fate beside the long-asked question, "why didn't anyone try to rescue the royal family and bring them to safety outside Soviet Russia"? The book's subtitle, "The Truth Behind the Secret Plans to Rescue the Russian Imperial Family", basically tells the sad, frustrating story of other countries' fai ...more
David Dunlap
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating -- but ultimately sad -- retelling of the last days of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family...and the aftermath of their murders in Ekaterinburg in July 1918. The author has mastered a staggering amount of primary source material, even uncovering some documents that have not previously figured in other books on the subject. I liked the italicized offsets the author uses to comment on her search for papers -- and how she incorporates these findings into her narrative. The plethor ...more
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The hindsight of 100 years allows us to assess the situation today from several very different perspectives: of political alliances, wartime expediency, personal antipathies, family loyalties, logistics, geography, and even the weather. All of these elements had a part to play in the failure of all and any rescue plans.”

I cannot put into words how satisfying it is to find a deep, meticulously detailed account of the doomed Romanov family that is equally well-researched and well-written. While I
Michelle Ule
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely detailed examination of 1917-1918 events in regards to who did or did not (most) try to save the Romanov family from their murder in Ekaterinberg.

Rappaport is a well known researcher and author of other Romanov books, but in this story she examined archives from around the world, seeking answers to what really happened among the other heads of state.

Much was a surprise, including the information both Kaiser Wilhelm and King George V were trying to help, though much too late.

Who knew Al
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is impeccably researched and provides a thorough analysis of the failure to rescue the Czar and his family in time. It analyzes the question, with supporting documentation, "who (if anyone) was responsible?" I found this an extremely interesting read. Like another reviewer suggested, I had significant difficulty, at times, keeping track of the many persons mentioned in this book, their roles, and/or how they related to the imperial family. In the latter case, the family tree provided a ...more
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Race to Save the Romanovs” makes a thorough examination of the various plans and parties that might have intervened to rescue the deposed Russian imperial family in 1917 and 1918. From loyal monarchists in Russia, to royal relatives around Europe, there was potential help from many directions, but for a variety of reasons, from the political to the realities of weather and illness, no plan was ever coordinated. Ultimately, it may have been the Romanovs’ own reluctance to abandon their belov ...more
Caidyn (he/him/his)
Yes, I did read all of this! But I forgot to update my reading status. Again. Anyways, it's a good book. Another great Romanov history by Rappaport. It focuses more on the efforts of England and Britain, but other countries were also mentioned. I'm definitely grateful I read Born to Rule: Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria before this because it gave me a really solid base of how the various royal families were related to each other. So, a very solid book! ...more
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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

Other books in the series

The Romanov Sisters (3 books)
  • The Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg
  • The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra

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