The Last of the Tsars: Nicholas II and the Russian Revolution (Paperback)Robert Service (author)
- In stock online
Tsar Nicholas II is a controversial figure in twentieth-century history. Admirers defend him as a loving husband and father who did his best for Russia against the tide of malignant revolutionaries who dethroned him in the February 1917 revolution and murdered him and his family in the following year. Detractors provide a very different account; for them he was a stubborn, reactionary tyrant… The truth is he was both things at the same time, a complex, contradictory man and ruler.
In March 1917, Nicholas II, the last Tsar of All the Russias, abdicated and the dynasty that had ruled an empire for three hundred years was forced from power by revolution.
Now, on the hundredth anniversary of that revolution, Robert Service, the eminent historian of Russia, examines Nicholas's reign in the year before his abdication and the months between that momentous date and his death, with his family, in Ekaterinburg in July 1918.
The story has been told many times, but Service's profound understanding of the period and his forensic examination of hitherto untapped sources, including the Tsar's diaries and recorded conversations, shed remarkable new light on his reign, also revealing the kind of ruler Nicholas believed himself to have been, contrary to the disastrous reality.
The Last of the Tsars is a masterful study of a man who was almost entirely out of his depth, perhaps even willfully so. It is also a compelling account of the social, economic and political foment in Russia in the aftermath of Alexander Kerensky's February Revolution, the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917 and the beginnings of Lenin's Soviet republic.
Robert Service is undoubtedly a titan of Russian studies. Emeritus Fellow of St Anthony’s College, Oxford, his extensive scholarship on the history of Russia includes The Penguin History of Modern Russia, The Russian Revolution, 1900-1927, Spies and Commissars and The End of the Cold War, 1985-1991 as well as an unparalleled trilogy of works - Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky - which offer a virtually panoptic understanding of Russia’s complex soul.
Read Robert Service’s exclusive article for the Waterstones blog about The Last of the Tsars and Nicholas II’s inevitable fall from power.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 317 g
Dimensions: 197 x 130 x 24 mm
"Brilliant, original and compelling" - Saul David, Evening Standard
"The best book yet on Nicholas after his abdication" - Dominic Lieven, Financial Times
"A myth-busting account of the final months of the ruler's life, from abdication to execution" - Guardian
"Detailed and painstakingly researched" - Peter Conradi, Sunday Times
"A clear-eyed portrait of Nicholas and his limitations . . . an essential corrective" - TLS