Secret Lives of the Tsars

Three Centuries of Autocracy, Debauchery, Betrayal, Murder, and Madness from Romanov Russia
Author(s): Michael Farquhar
Original Publish Date: Jul 08, 2014
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (12.43 hours)
Product Number: Z100067989
Released: Jul 08, 2014
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9780804166461
Narrator/s: Enn Reitel
Publisher: Books on Tape
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"Michael Farquhar doesn't write about history the way, say, Doris Kearns Goodwin does. He writes about history the way Doris Kearns Goodwin's smart-ass, reprobate kid brother might. I, for one, prefer it."—Gene Weingarten, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and Washington Post columnist Scandal! Intrigue! Cossacks! Here the world's most engaging royal historian chronicles the world's most fascinating imperial dynasty: the Romanovs, whose three-hundred-year reign was remarkable for its shocking violence, spectacular excess, and unimaginable venality. In this incredibly entertaining history, Michael Farquhar collects the best, most captivating true tales of Romanov iniquity. We meet Catherine the Great, with her endless parade of virile young lovers (none of them of the equine variety); her unhinged son, Paul I, who ordered the bones of one of his mother's paramours dug out of its grave and tossed into a gorge; and Grigori Rasputin, the "Mad Monk," whose mesmeric domination of the last of the Romanov tsars helped lead to the monarchy's undoing. From Peter the Great's penchant for personally beheading his recalcitrant subjects (he kept the severed head of one of his mistresses pickled in alcohol) to Nicholas and Alexandra's brutal demise at the hands of the Bolsheviks, Secret Lives of the Tsars captures all the splendor and infamy that was Imperial Russia. Praise for Secret Lives of the Tsars "An accessible, exciting narrative . . . Highly recommended for generalists interested in Russian history and those who enjoy the seamier side of past lives."—Library Journal (starred review) "An excellent condensed version of Russian history . . . a fine tale of history and scandal . . . sure to please general readers and monarchy buffs alike."—Publishers Weekly "Tales from the nasty lives of global royalty . . . an easy-reading, lightweight history lesson."—Kirkus Reviews "Readers of this book may get a sense of why Russians are so tolerant of tyrants like Stalin and Putin. Given their history, it probably seems normal."—The Washington Post

All formats/editions

Author(s): Michael Farquhar
Product Number EB00196712
Released: Jul 08, 2014
Business Term: 2 Year
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: #9780812985788

Professional reviews

"Opulence, power, intrigue, and ultimately, tragedy: Those Romanovs were quite the royal family. And Enn Reitel is quite the narrator. His rich, dignified voice and well-timed pacing are befitting of the imperial family, whose antics never fail to astound. The tsarsÕ secret lives include stories of astounding cruelty over sometimes (or often) frivolous matters, voracious sexual appetites, and lavish excess in almost all areas, generally culminating in conflict on all fronts. ReitelÕs British accent is appropriate for the portrayal of this imperial family, and he adds touches of whimsy and wry astonishment in recounting the incredible stories of the Romanov dynasty, which spanned 300 years. S.E.G. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine"