Former People: The Last Days of the Russian Aristocracy (Hardback)
  • Former People: The Last Days of the Russian Aristocracy (Hardback)

Former People: The Last Days of the Russian Aristocracy (Hardback)

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Hardback Published: 25/10/2012
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Epic in scope, intimate in detail, heartbreaking in its human drama, Former People is the first book to recount the history of the nobility caught up the maelstrom of the Bolshevik Revolution and the creation of Stalin's Russia. It is a book filled with chilling tales of looted palaces, burning estates, of desperate flights in the night from marauding bands of thugs and Red Army soldiers, of imprisonment, exile, and execution. It is the story of how a centuries'-old elite famous for its glittering wealth, its service to the empire, its promotion of the arts and culture, was dispossessed and destroyed along with the rest of old Russia. Drawing on the private archives of two great families -- the Sheremetovs and the Golitsyns -- it is also a story of survival and accommodation, of how many of the tsarist ruling class, so-called 'former people', managed to find a place for themselves and their families in the hostile world of the Soviet Union. It reveals, too, how even at the darkest depths of the terror, daily life went on - men and women fell in love, children were born, friends gathered. Ultimately, Former People is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9780230749061

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“Thoroughly enjoyed it!”

An excellent and vivid image of the downfall of the royal family and aristocracy and how the latter tried to survive afterwards. Douglas Smith's writing is easy to immerse into as you follow their story.

Paperback edition
27th August 2013
Helpful? Upvote 5

“Superbly written”

It is difficult to feel too much sympathy for the Russian aristoracy who lived in such fabulous wealth at the disadvantage of the poor... until you read this book that tells the stories of their fates.

Douglas... More

Paperback edition
4th August 2013
Helpful? Upvote 3

“Former People”

An enjoyable book with lots of information about aristocratic Russian families, some of which I had never heard of before. Quite a hefty read - you definitely want to dedicate some time to getting through it all.... More

Paperback edition
18th April 2016
Helpful? Upvote 1

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