Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar

Első borító
Simon and Schuster, 2005. okt. 18. - 480 oldal
Alexander II was Russia's Lincoln, and the greatest reformer tsar since Peter the Great. He was also one of the most contradictory, and fascinating, of history's supreme leaders. He freed the serfs, yet launched vicious wars. He engaged in the sexual exploits of a royal Don Juan, yet fell profoundly in love. He ruled during the "Russian Renaissance" of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Turgenev -- yet his Russia became the birthplace of modern terrorism. His story could be that of one of Russia's greatest novels, yet it is true. It is also crucially important today.
It is a tale that runs on parallel tracks. Alexander freed 23 million Russian slaves, reformed the justice system and the army, and very nearly became the father of Russia's first constitution and the man who led that nation into a new era of western-style liberalism. Yet it was during this feverish time that modern nihilism first arose. On the sidelines of Alexander's state dramas, a group of radical, disaffected young people first experimented with dynamite, and first began to use terrorism. Fueled by the writings of a few intellectuals and zealots, they built bombs, dug tunnels, and planned ambushes. They made no less than six unsuccessful attempts on Alexander's life. Finally, the parallel tracks joined, when a small cell of terrorists, living next door to Dostoevsky, built the fatal bomb that ended the life of the last great Tsar. It stopped Russian reform in its tracks.
Edvard Radzinsky is justly famous as both a biographer and a dramatist, and he brings both skills to bear in this vivid, page-turning, rich portrait of one of the greatest of all Romanovs. Delving deep into the archives, he raises intriguing questions about the connections between Dostoevsky and the young terrorists, about the hidden romances of the Romanovs, and about the palace conspiracies that may have linked hard-line aristocrats with their nemesis, the young nihilists.
Alexander's life proves the timeless lesson that in Russia, it is dangerous to start reforms, but even more dangerous to stop them. It also shows that the traps and dangers encountered in today's war on terrorists were there from the start.

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LibraryThing Review

Felhasználói ismertető  - setnahkt - LibraryThing

Edvard Radzinsky has taken advantage of perestroika and glasnost to rummage around in previously secret Russian state files and come up with some pretty interesting aspects of the life of the man he ... Teljes értékelés elolvasása

LibraryThing Review

Felhasználói ismertető  - everfresh1 - LibraryThing

Excellent! Covers both the life of the tzar and political environment of that time. Good coverage of Russia's underground movement, and People's Will in particular. I read other historical works by Radzinsky and seems that every subsequent work gets better. Teljes értékelés elolvasása

Kiválasztott oldalak

Tartalomjegyzék

The Harsh Fate of Heritage
3
Heir to the Throne
24
His Fathers Empire
39
How to Bring Up a Caesar
47
The Great Time
103
An Awakened Russia chapter 7 Anni Horibiles chapter 8 Love
152
The Birth of Terror
205
The Lonely Palace Cliff
231
A Hollywood Story
239
the return of the tsar liberator
353
Selected Bibliography
429
Index
441
Copyright

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11. oldal - Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
68. oldal - England and Russia. He then pressed and kissed my hand, and I kissed his cheek; upon which he kissed mine (cheek) in a very warm affectionate manner, and we again warmly shook hands. I really felt more as if I was taking leave of a relation than of a stranger, I felt so sad to take leave of this dear amiable young man, whom I really think (talking jokingly) I was a little in love with, and certainly attached to ; he is so frank, so really young and merry, has such a nice open countenance with a sweet...
67. oldal - ... Countess Potoska led the way. It begins with a solemn walk round the room, which also follows each figure ; one figure, in which the lady and gentleman run down holding their pocket-handkerchief by each end, and letting the ladies on one side go under it, and the gentlemen jump over it, is too funny. This concluded our little Ball at near 2 o'clock. I never enjoyed myself more. We were all so merry ; I got to bed by a J to 3, but could not sleep till 5.
67. oldal - Mazurka for \ an hour, I should think nearly ; the GrandDuke asked me to take a turn, which I did (never having done it before) and which is very pleasant ; the Grand-Duke is so very strong, that in running round, you must follow quickly, and after that you are whisked round like in a Valse, which is very pleasant.
67. oldal - I then went to the little blue room next my Dressing-room, where Lord Palmerston brought in the Grand-Duke to take leave. The Grand-Duke took my hand and pressed it warmly ; he looked pale and his voice faltered, as he said, " Les paroles me manquent pour exprimer tout ce que je sens " ; and he mentioned how deeply grateful he felt for all the kindness he met with, that he hoped to return again, and that he trusted that all this would only tend to strengthen the ties of friendship between England...
67. oldal - I was taking leave of a relation than of a stranger, I felt so sad to take leave of this dear amiable young man, whom I really think (talking jokingly) I was a little in love with, and certainly attached to; he is so frank, so really young and merry, has such a nice open countenance with a sweet smile, and such a manly fine...
340. oldal - Karamazov. He wanted to take him through a monastery and make him a revolutionary; he would then commit a political crime; he would be executed. He would search for the truth, and in the course of this quest would naturally become a revolutionary...
67. oldal - ... which Weippert and his band were stationed ; and dancing began. I danced 1st a quadrille with the Grand-Duke, then followed a Valse, during which time I sat down ; then a quadrille which I danced with Prince Henry ; then again a Valse followed ; and I danced after this a quadrille with M. de Tolstoy ; this was followed again by a Valse (of course I and also the Grand-Duke sitting down during the Valse) ; and then I danced a quadrille with Lord Clarence Paget, who came after dinner from Colonel...
66. oldal - Circassians and has a ball in his body), M. Zourievitch (an Aide-de-Camp of the Emperor's and who has been with the Grand-Duke for 14 years), and Prince Dolgorouki (an Aidede-Camp of the Emperor's). They are all pleasing people and rather easy to get on with.
221. oldal - ... Paragraph 6. Hard with himself, he must be hard towards others. All the tender feelings of family life, of friendship, love, gratitude and even honour must be stifled in him by a single cold passion for the revolutionary cause. For him there is only one pleasure, one consolation, one reward, and one satisfaction — the success of the revolution. Day and night he must have one single thought, one single purpose: merciless destruction. With this aim in view, tirelessly and in cold blood, he must...

A szerzőről (2005)

Edvard Radzinsky is the author of the bestselling The Last Tsar, Stalin, and The Rasputin File. He is one of Russia's most celebrated playwrights. He lives in Moscow, where he is also an award-winning television personality.

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