Book Blog

Orlando Figes' New Introduction to the Centenary Edition of A People's Tragedy

Continuing our sequence of posts inspired by the events that swept Russia a century ago, we’re pleased to present, in full, Orlando Figes’ new introduction to what has to be his most highly-regarded work - A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution, re-released this year in an appropriately stunning new edition. ‘Elaborately researched, rigorously structured, coherently argued, it presents an overwhelmingly comprehensive view of one of the most important and complicated of all modern events.’ – The Guardian

An Exclusive Waterstones Q & A with Amor Towles

'It's all too rare to find a fun, glamorous, semi-literary tale to get lost in.’ So said The Guardian of Amor Towles’ first novel, Rules of Civility, an assured and evocative account of Manhattanite life in the Thirties. Going on to win the French 2012 Prix Fitzgerald, Towles now returns with his effortlessly urbane A Gentleman in Moscow, the tale of a somewhat singular man - Count Alexander Rostov – who finds himself under house arrest after sentence from a 1922 Bolshevik tribunal. What follows is decades of imprisonment through the most tumultuous decades of Russia’s history and the slow, fascinating rebirth of the Count’s sense of purpose. We caught up with the author to discuss the novel’s genesis and where its fiction met fact.

A Waterstones Exclusive: Robert Service on Nicholas II’s Inevitable Fall

Robert Service is undoubtedly a titan of Russian studies. An unparalleled trilogy of works – Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky – offer a virtually panoptic understanding of Russia’s complex soul, Simon Heffer for example in the Telegraph referring to Lenin as ‘a superb work of scholarship… if you seek to know about this crucial figure in the history of Marxism-Leninism, this book will tell you everything.’ In The Last of The Tsars: Nicholas II and the Russian Revolution Service now turns his forensic attention to the year preceding Nicholas’s abdication and the events leading toward the annihilation of both the Tsar and his family. It’s simply a stunning account, with Service’s typical depth of research virtually uncovering the DNA to the century of creation and conflict that has followed.It seemed irresistible to us to pose Robert Service the ultimate ‘what if’ – to contemplate a Nicholas II who could at least entertain the prospect of a constructional monarchy. But as we will discover in Service’s analysis, the die of fate had long been cast.

Simon Sebag Montefiore's Recommended Reading on Russia and its Revolutions

Our Non-Fiction Book of The Month for February, The Romanovs 1613–1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore, is an exceptional example of this year’s reflections on the 100 years that have passed since the climactic Russian revolutions of 1917. It is one of those once-in-a-decade texts that brings the past acutely into the present; the author’s inexhaustible research and deftness for story-telling sealing a vast but still intimate chronology of Russia’s twenty sovereigns. Of course, the history of Russia is as vast as the nation itself, a daunting prospect for anyone looking to properly unpick its past. Exclusively for Waterstones, Simon Sebag Montefiore presents his own reading roadmap to those eager to explore the Russian adventure.

The Romanovs: 1613 - 1918

Simon Sebag Montefiore's new book is an utterly compelling portrait of an extraordinarily powerful family with many secrets.

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