best biography of peter the great

The Embassy to the West: Russian czar Peter the Great was a skillful Peter the Great was a Russian czar in the late 17th century who is best known for his Peter the Great Biography. Peter the Great BEST Peter undertook extensive reforms in an attempt to reestablish Russia as a great nation. Peter " Peter the Great," The Biography. Widely considered Robert K.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. Those who served her throne, or her bed, were well rewarded while the serfs were condemned to ever-worsening conditions. Men were instruments of pleasure. Bigraphy weak had to perish. The future belonged to men - and sometimes a man could have the outward appearance of a woman. She was proof of that. This literary tour de force paints an enthralling picture of Catherine, her seductions, her coaxings and her phenomenal devotion to politics and work, but it also brings the Russian court - with all its intrigues - brilliantly to best biography of peter the great.

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best biography of peter the great

Updated for the paperback edition. Its reign ended with the execution of Nicholas II and Alexandra in the early 20th century. Noted Russian scholar W. Bruce Lincoln has portrayed the achievement, significance and high drama of the Dynasty as no previous book has done. His use of rare archival materials has allowed him to present a portrait of the Romanovs based on their own writings and those of the persons who knew them.

Her reign, the longest in Russian Imperial history, lasted from until her death in ; during those years she built on the work begun by her most famous predecessor, Peter the Great, biographh establish Russia as a major European power and to transform its new capital, St Petersburg, into a city to best biography of peter the great Paris and London in the beauty of its architecture, the glittering splendor of its Court and the magnificence of its art collections.

Yet the great Catherine was not even Russian by birth and had no legitimate claim to the Russian throne; she seized it and held on to it, through wars, rebellions and plagues, by the force of her personality, by her charm and determination, and by an best biography of peter the great belief in her own destiny. This is the story of Catherine the woman, whom power alone could never satisfy, for she also wanted love, affection, friendship and humor.

She found these in letter-writing, in grandchildren, in gardens, architecture and greyhounds--as well as in a succession of lovers which gave rise to salacious rumors throughout Europe. The real Catherine, however, was more interesting than any rumor. Nikita Khrushchev was one of the best biography of peter the great complex and important political figures of the twentieth century. His life and career mirror the Soviet experience: Complicit in terrible Stalinist crimes, Khrushchev nevertheless retained his humanity: Combining a page-turning historical narrative with penetrating political and psychological analysis, this book brims with the life and excitement of biofraphy man bbiography story personified his era.

Over the next thirty years he would become her lover, co-ruler, and husband in a secret marriage that left room for both to satisfy their sexual appetites. Potemkin proved to be one of the most brilliant statesmen of the eighteenth century, helping Catherine expand the Russian empire and deftly manipulating allies and adversaries from Constantinople to London.

It chronicles the tempestuous relationship between Potemkin and Catherine, a remarkable love affair between two strong personalities that helped shape the course of history. As he brings these characters to life, Montefiore also tells the story of the creation of the Russian empire. This is biography as it is meant to be: With colorful prose Suzanne Massie details the variety of Russian existence--tsars and serfs and merchant-princes and babushkas--no stone is left uncovered as she cross-references biograpphy a thousands years, writing with equal consideration of art, poetry, country-life, court-life, politics and its myriad games, myths and legends, influence "outside the sphere.

Remnick is leter witness for us all. During that time the country underwent a massive transformation, taking it from days of grandeur under the tsars to the chaos of revolution and the beginnings of the Soviet Union. Marie Alexandrovna and Olga Constantinovna were born into the family, Russian Grand Duchesses at birth. Marie Feodorovna and Marie Pavlovna best biography of peter the great into vest dynasty, the best biography of peter the great born a Princess of Denmark, the latter a Duchess of the German duchy of Mecklendburg-Schwerin.

In a matter of a few best biography of peter the great years, they fell from the pinnacle of wealth and power to the depths of danger, poverty, and exile. It is an unforgettable epic story. Over steaming samovars, in cramped flats, and on dirt-floors, he has spoken bets peasants and bureaucrats, artists and officials.

He has studied their customs and their governments and shares his fascinating insights and fresh perspectives with us. Based on private diaries, letters, and documents long hidden in the Soviet archives, it sheds best biography of peter the great on an extraordinary tale of enduring love and ultimate tragedy that, until best biography of peter the great, has bioggraphy been told.

He was the Grand Duke Michael Aleksandrovich, the tall, dashing brother of Tsar Nicholas II. Here they reveal their passion, their joy, and their despair as they are banished from their own country, bathed in scandal in the courts of Europe, and forced to suffer cruel separation. But more than a love story, Michael and Natasha is a best biography of peter the great drama played out against the fo background of a bygone age and a world at war. But more than a love story, MICHAEL AND NATASHA is a tye drama played out against the elegant background of a bygone age and a world at war.

King George V of Britain, Grreat Wilhelm II of Germany and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. Together, they presided over the last years of dynastic Europe and the outbreak of the most destructive war the world had ever seen, a war that set twentieth-century Europe on course to be the most violent continent in the history of the world.

It is also alive with fresh, subtle portraits of other familiar figures: At the same time, Carter weaves through their stories a riveting account of the events that led to World War I, showing how the personal and the political interacted, sometimes to devastating effect. For all three men the war would be a disaster that destroyed forever the illusion of their close family peer, with any sense of peace and harmony shattered in a final coda of murder, betrayal and abdication.

Massie Robert Kinloch Massie born is an American historian, writer, winner of a Pulitzer Prize, and a Rhodes Scholar. Born in Lexington, Kentucky inMassie best biography of peter the great much of his youth in Nashville, Tennessee and currently resides in Westchester County, New York in the village of Irvington. He studied American history at Yale University and modern European history at Oxford University on his Rhode Robert Kinloch Massie best biography of peter the great is an American historian, writer, winner of a Pulitzer Prize, and a Rhodes Scholar.

He studied American history at Yale University and modern European history at Oxford University on his Rhodes Scholarship.

best biography of peter the great

Massie went to work as a journalist for Newsweek from to and then took a position at the Saturday Evening Post. Massie's interest in the Tsar's family was triggered by the birth of boigraphy son, the Rev. Robert Kinloch Massie, who suffers from hemophilia, a hereditary disease that also afflicted tthe last Tsar's son, Alexei.

Inthe book was the basis of an Academy Award winning film of the same title. Inin his book The Romanovs: The Final Chapter, Massie updated Nicholas and Alexandra with much newly-discovered information.

InRobert Massie and his then-wife Suzanne chronicled their experiences as the parents of a hemophiliac child and the significant differences between the American and French health-care systems in their jointly-written book, Journey. Massie won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography for Peter the Great: His Life and World. This best biography of peter the great inspired a NBC mini-series that won three Emmy Awards, Peter the Great TV Series and starred Maximilian Schell, Laurence Olivier and Vanessa Redgrave.

Books by Robert K. Massie More… Share This Book Tweet Share on your website title link preview: His Life and World avg rating preview: His Life and World Goodreads rating: His Life and World by Robert K. No trivia or quizzes yet. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Open Preview See a Problem? Return to Book Page. Preview — Peter the Great by Robert K.

His Life and World 4. Against the monumental canvas of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe and Russia, unfolds the magnificent story of Peter the Great, crowned at the age of A barbarous, volatile feudal tsar with a taste for torture; a progressive and enlightened reformer of government and science; a statesman of vision and colossal significance: Peter the Great embodied the greates Against the monumental canvas of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe and Russia, unfolds the magnificent story of Peter the Great, crowned at the age of Peter the Great embodied the greatest strengths and weaknesses prter Russia while being at the very forefront of her development.

Massie delves deep into the life of this captivating historical figure, chronicling the pivotal events that shaped a boy into a legend - including his 'incognito' travels in Europe, his unquenchable curiosity about Western ways, his obsession with the sea and establishment of the stupendous Russian navy, his creation of an unbeatable army, and his relationships with those he loved most: Catherine, his loving mistress, wife, and successor; and Menshikov, the best biography of peter the great, unscrupulous prince who rose to power best biography of peter the great Peter's friendship.

Impetuous and stubborn, generous and cruel, a man of enormous energy and complexity, Peter the Great is brought fully to life. Paperbackpages. Peter the GreatLouis XIV of FranceWilliam of Orange. All Editions Add th New Edition Combine. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Peter the Greatplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Jun 15, Jan-Maat added it Shelves: This lengthy biography of Russian Tsar Peter the Great is pfter entertaining with all the strengths and weaknesses of a blockbuster.

No prior knowledge of the period required. Maybe because it is a biography it doesn't give much attention to the extent of the terror and suffering caused by the massive mobilisation and movements of population caused by his military and civil policies Anisimov's book The Reforms of Peter the Great Progress Through Coercion in Russia is great on this even if t This lengthy biography of Russian Tsar Peter the Great is thoroughly entertaining with all the strengths and weaknesses of a blockbuster.

Maybe because it is a biography it doesn't give much attention to the extent of the terror and suffering caused by the massive mobilisation and movements of population caused by his military and civil policies Anisimov's book The Reforms of Peter the Great Progress Through Coercion in Russia is great on this even if the title does sum up the argument.

Nor is best biography of peter the great a pfter study of his inner circle. The oddities of his reign don't get a full mention either - as for example visible in the collection in the Kunstkammer in St. Petersburg, although the giant penis that Peter peteg from one of his soldiers was removed, allegedly out of a concern for public morality, already in soviet times view spoiler [the jars of picked babies with deformities are still there though, along with the sheep with eight legs hide spoiler ].

Massie's book takes, in contrast to the Anisimov, a deeply traditional view of Peter which was that he single-handedly tne Russia out of barbaric backwardness view spoiler [rather like the story of the giant turnip view spoiler [ except with far fewer people involved hide spoiler ] hide spoiler ] and steered it into the European mainstream. The problem is the easy and disturbing assumption that military power determines the place of a state in the world and that whatever measures are taken to achieve military success are best biography of peter the great, there's an implicit acceptance that military dominance is the be all and end all of being a country that one may not want to accept uncritically.

Taking a longer view the role and in particular the glorification of the use of violence in bringing about sudden, and o many cases unsustainable change, was a precedent that was to have a lasting impact on Russian politics both in terms of internal policy and foreign policy, and one that the 'little man' of Pushkin's The Bronze Horseman and his really life equivalents would not appreciate, nor is there much appreciate of how Peter was not his own creator but following in well established footsteps - for example Klyuchevsky's treat oldie view that Peter never succeeded in anything apart from projects that his father Tsar Aleksei had also attempted.

Generally weak on context, poor on Peter's circle and on his impacts or the lack thereof. But on the plus side it does mention how Peter and his wife, Catherine, had their hair shaved off and made into wigs while on campaign in Dagestan which they would take off during the day to keep cool and put on at night to stay warm, as well as the buckets of grain liquor doled out to invited revellers at the Summer Palace.

Best read and appreciated as giography rather than history. But as readable and a massive a narrative biography as one can more or less easily get in English. View all 7 comments. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

To view it, click here. If you complain about today, you should read about then. You were considered a bitch if you ate with a fork, just for starters. Men might prefer to live back then cause they inherited a whip from their father in-law to whip their spouses when they got out of line. The only person I know today that practices this form of discipline is Snoop Dogg You gots to control your ho!

Peter was great for many reasons. The russians in this day were like the geico cavemen of their time. Peter was the first If you complain about today, you should read about then.

Peter was the best biography of peter the great ruler to travel amongst Europe and bring some culture back to Russia. Peter was highly intelligent and you could compare him to the best biography of peter the great Thomas Jefferson.

Thd with many countries as Jefferson did with the indians to use as an advantage with networking and pursuing bester biography of peter the great business. Nemesis, Charles XII King of Swedes was however the hater towards Peter as they fought and battled for the seas and ports along the black sea.

Peter brought many great things to his country and he did not try to take over his halfbrothers legacy, eventhough his half sister Sophia was power hungry and made an attempt on his life. He was interested in knowledge and bettering himself as he built a powerful navy for Russia. By fhe way, he did tax his people for having a beard, so if you got one, you then must pay me some roubles, noon, or off with your head.

May 14, The Pirate Ghost Formerly known as the Curmudgeon rated it it was amazing Shelves: Robert Massie's "Peter the Great: His best biography of peter the great and World" has been a wonderful book to listen to, for me. The book is well researched and offers what is likely an accurate picture of an important figure in the History of Western Civilization. Before I get to deep into my romantic vision of what Massie has done here, let me say that this is first and foremost a text of history.

It is almost 38 hour narrated as an audiobook and covers Peter's best biography of peter the great in three segments, his rise to power, wars mostly wit Robert Massie's "Peter the Great: It is almost 38 hour narrated as an audiobook and covers Peter's life in three segments, his rise to power, wars mostly with Sweden and Charles the 11th and his radical and sweeping reforms of Russian government and monarchy.

If you are not someone who enjoys history, and understands that history often involves a dizzying number of characters, names, nations and dates then you'll be fine here, this is better than most at getting the story out and keeping the minutia managed. It's still geeat non-fiction tome of history. I will talk about Massie's wonderful ability to "tell Peter's story" without fictionalizing soon.

The only warning with this is this: You do not have to be a student of history, an associate professor, or even a avid historical hobbyist to read this. It is understandable, complete and detailed enough for anyone to understand Massie's Peter the Great and the world around him.

It is not a great novel of fictionalized history, or a historical novel so praise of Massie's ability to tell Peter's story should not be confused. That makes him a wonderful historian to read. He's not the second coming of Tolkien. So, why five stars? What Massie has done created a wonderful tableau of Peter's life. Peter the great was a very complex man. He lived in a very difficult time full of war. Massie managed to capture the complexity that surrounds the reign of the man who built Russia, but he also captured the essence of what it meant to be a Russian in the time of Peter the Great.

As Peter rose to prominence, so did Russia. As the Czar learned to wield power, so did Russia. As the man, Peter, learned to love, so did the people he surrounded himself with. In this book are wonderful stories and anecdotes about the events that vv giri biography in hindi peter's life.

Perhaps the most wonderful among these is the love he shared with his third wife Kathrine, who succeeded him as the first Empress of Russia Sophia was regent, and Kathrine the Great was actually the third Empress Cathrine.

Peter's love was a simple Flemish serving girl who caught Peter's eye and developed into one of the most interesting warm women in history.

Though it comes brad passons biography the end of the book, and it is a well known story, I loved the story about how Peter had accused tried and convicted a member of the Russian court of being corrupt.

Most of his court and his loving wife believed the man to be innocent. They begged the Czar to reconsider over and over until, in anger he ordered them to stop and never mention it to him again.

So, Kathrine, wrote another appeal for the man's pardon and signed it "Lissette" then fixed the note to the collar of Peter's pter dog, an Italian Greyhound named, Lisette.

When Peter came back from the Senate, which was likely a very trying time for him at any point in his life, the dog, as dogs can be, was very excited to see him. Greeting the dog, Peter saw the note and picked him up as he read it. Then he chuckled and sighed telling the dog. Saved by the grace of miniature greyhound and a cunning and determined wife, whom he loved.

Massie also manages to capture the boyish nature of Peter that never left him. The educated, genius barbarian savage. I suppose you can take the Cossack out of the off of the steps but you can never wash the steps off of the Cossack.

Why this story has not been turned into an Oscar wining movie about the life of the czar is beyond me. Peter is no prize, yet, after all of the stories of war, torture, pdter, love, laughter, lots and lots of drinking VODKA! And thent here was giography good Peter who fought corruption in his government and actually wanted to lift his people from the dark ages into the modern world. An example of the complexity one of many facets is how, after many years of war with Sweden and Charles the 11th, when he hears of Charles's death he orders Russia into a state of mourning for a week.

Another might be how, whenever he could get away with it, he posed as a common laborer or journeyman even placing himself under the command of others at least one of whom called his bluff who enjoyed hard work with his hands. It is not a metaphor to say that Peter built the Russian Navy. Every chance he got he was at St. Petersburg with hammers and tools working. I could go on. Lets just say, I liked this book.

It's not for those with a passing interest in history, but you don't have to be an educated scholar to get something from Massie's book. Sorry to rattle on. Aug 21, grezt rated it really liked it Shelves: If you read just one book on Peter the Great, this should be it.

If you read two books on Peter the Great, let me know bdst the other one turns out just kidding, there are probably other good books on Peter the Great, but none likely as well written as this one. This book succeeds not just because it deals with a fascinating person in a time where the landscape of the world was ever changing, but it succeeds because the author, Robert Massie, is a best biography of peter the great and engaging writer.

Seriously, to ma If you read just one book on Peter the Great, this should be it. So while this section involves a deep look at Peter the Great, it also spends almost as much time on Charles the XII. Anyway, this is a lively, engaging, and expansive look at Bbiography the Great who changed the thinking and the standing of an entire country.

Peter turned an isolated and backward Russia that was an afterthought to most of Europe, in to a world power simply by the drive hhe his own will.

He had no role model for what he did which was essentially bringing European culture to Russia and catapulting Russia out of the dark ages. Through all of the uncertainty and geeat information, Peter refused to accept defeat and in the end created a new power. May 12, Lubinka Dimitrova rated it it was amazing Shelves: Massie won my heart with his book about Catherine the Great, so I definitely had to read the one about Peter as well. I cannot believe that I postponed it for so best biography of peter the great. This best biography of peter the great be one of the best books I've read this year.

Massie writes in a clear and concise manner, spicing up the story with ample details which nonetheless never burden the line of narration.

The book is perfectly suited both for serious history students as well as those of us who simply enjoy reading history. Indeed this huge tome was so well written, compelling, suspenseful and dramatic at certain points, that it reads like a real page turner. What I mostly enjoyed in this book was the fact that not only was Peter's portrayal as true and extensive as possible, but also that the author took best biography of peter the great care to represent the bigger picture, including extended depictions of many other major - and minor - players of the era, both in Europe and in Russia.

We really do get to learn all about Peter's world, from the life of the average Russian peasant to the role of the Holy Roman Empire in European politics.

Massie has the amazing ability to handle the intertwined paths of european diplomacy with stunning balance and evenhandedness.

He neither turns his protagonists into saints, nor fails to find the deeper reasons underneath seemingly irrational behaviors. The description of Peter's relationship with his son and heir Alexis was blood chilling, and I had to admire the author's decisiveness to not take parts in a best biography of peter the great messed-up situation.

One quality which no one disputes however is his phenomenal energy. He was a force of nature, and perhaps for this reason no best biography of peter the great judgment will ever be delivered. Oct 05, Greay rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Can one man raise a country from mud to glory? Yes, if its Peter, Tsar of Russia. Can one book capture the complexity of the people, the country and their first truly great leader who dragged the country kicking and screaming into the heart of European geopolitics?

This is the book. One of the best works of narrative history ever. This is how history hte come alive. View all 14 comments. An excellent and highly enjoyable biography. Having panned Massie's first book, Nicholas and AlexandriaPfter have to congratulate him on this best biography of peter the great, written thirteen years later: However, I don't know as much about the period of Peter's life as I did about Nicholas' so some of the applause may be credited to my ignorance and credulousness, grezt I also think that Massie put more work into researching and writing this biography and that thirteen years, and several books, have made him a better write Having panned Massie's first book, Nicholas and AlexandriaI have to congratulate him on this one, written thirteen years later: However, I don't know as much about the period of Peter's life as I did about Nicholas' so some of the applause may be credited to my ignorance and credulousness, but I also think that Massie put more work into researching and writing this biography and that thirteen years, and several books, have made him a better writer.

An additional consideration is that the personalities of Massie and his wife intruded more into the Nicholas book because of their yreat in the hemophilia running in the family. Peter the Great is much more of an objective history, Massie's personal views and feelings being biogrzphy in the background. Although my friend, John Elkin, gave me this book, he gave it to me because I had enunciated interest in reading more about Peter the Great after reading Zoe Oldenbourg's biography of Catherine the Great.

Jun 03, Katy rated it it was amazing. It's been many years since I read this book, best biography of peter the great, so I can't be terribly detailed, but I will tell you that this book is what led to my fascination with the Russian Tsars. It's best biography of peter the great detailed, providing not only the story of Peter the Great himself, but also all the other rulers with whom he interacted.

The descriptions are beyond parallel. When I was reading it, I would think to myself, "I can actually smell the city. My original edition was It's been many years since I read this book, so I can't be terribly detailed, but I will tell you that this book is what led to my fascination with the Russian Tsars. My original edition was an old, used paperback, but biogrsphy back in Montana because my greag shamelessly stole it.

I purchased a new, hardcover edition a few years ago from a bargain bin, so I'll have to re-read this amazing book again! Widely considered Robert K. Massie's magnum opus, "Peter the Great: His Life and World" is pages of finely researched work. This being the third Massie book I've read, despite the greatness of this work, I still consider "Catherine the Great" Massie's finest.

Male readers might appreciate the details outlined by Massie of the military campaigns led by Peter, while female readers like myself are more likely to appreciate the personal details and stories of this piece. While this may be a gen Widely considered Robert K. While this may be a generalization, I did find the book bogged down at times by the military detailing. In spite of this, Massie's research is plain to see and is a fantastic history of the life and times of Russia's first truly great tsar.

First exposed to Massie through a requirement of a college course while studying Russian history, I've always found Massie a masterful storyteller, more than capable of making history more palatable than most writers of bigoraphy fact.

Like most great leaders throughout time, Peter was a complex individual; an individual not tne to the conservative ways of previous leaders of Muscovy. He was as curious and naturally intelligent as he was innovative. Considered by many of the religious leaders of his country to be an iconoclastic ruler set on destroying best biography of peter the great tied to Orthodox conservatism, petdr was known by much of Europe to be a forward-thinking ruler who dragged his country kicking and screaming into the modern world.

He valued a person's worth more than his or her title. Perhaps most evident of this aspect of his personality was the fact that he made a former captured peasant his confident, wife, and Empress. Without Peter the Great, there would have been no Catherine the Great, and no golden age of Russia. With this book, Robert K. Massie proves his talent, knowledge of history, and his worth as a literary genius. Jun 02, Judy rated it it was amazing. I have always been fascinated by Ggreat history and decided that it was finally time to check this book out of the library.

It wasn't that I didn't want to read it--I mean, it won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography--it was that every time I go to the library I emerge with an armload of books and, at over pages, this book could literally inflict damage if it slipped from my grasp and fell. However, one day last week I ran into the library with four books that were in danger of being overd I have always been fascinated by Russian grreat and decided that it was finally time to check this book out of the library.

However, one day last week I ran into the library with four books that were in danger of being overdue and before I ran back out, I grabbed this book from the shelf and checked it out. And am I glad that I did. Not only is this best biography of peter the great pter overflowing with information about the life and times in which Peter the Great lived, it reads like a best biography of peter the great. Thankfully, I am only teaching two classes this summer so I have some extra time.

I needed it because I found that I simply could not put this book down. This book is wonderful. A tome to read for certain, but very well written and so much information. Amazing story and a great introduction to Modern Russian history for me. May 16, Carl R. Massie is not a fluent writer, and this page tome of his was a bit of a haul. He does not have that easy flow you find in a McCulloch or Goodwin, or pteer of Henri Troyat, who did a great job on both Catherine the Great and Tolstoy See WW archives.

I understand he has a new work on Catherine the Great. Nevertheless, complaints aside, Peter The Great is a monumental achievement of history and biography. Won a Pulitzer, too. Peter was a giant. No, not a metaphorical giant, as in a giant force of history though he was thatbut a six-foot-seven guy in a world best biography of peter the great six feet put you head and shoulders over most people in a crowd.

He had the mind of a scientist and a craftsman. In that sense he was in and of the enlightenment, in which period he lived or at least on the beginning of it. Late 17th, early 18th C. He was curious about all aspects of the physical world.

Spent hours and hours at his lathe fashioning everything from shipworks to ivory telescopes. He was the first Russian ruler to travel extensively in the west, eschew xenophobia and explore and adopt ideas and machinery from England, Holland, Germany--wherever he found it. He was also a warrior. He dreamed of a Russia that could trade with the world, which meant a Russia that biographu sail the seas, which mean a Russia with a navy and a merchant marine, which meant conquering all the people who preferred Russia to remain a land-and-ice-locked.

These included Sweden, Germany, Turkey, Finland, and Poland, among others. So he built ships and started wars. That meant raising money from every corner of the realm, which meant taxes, men, equipment garnered from every village and township in every corner of the realm. He won many battles, lost many, invented the scorched earth policy used by Russian rulers ever hence, accomplished much of what he dreamed of, but the drain on the country and its able-bodied was immense.

He had bad memories of Moscow, so decided to build St. No place for a city, except it did command an upriver entrance to the country. Never mind that it was on a swamp without building materials. Just commandeer those things. Hey, village, send me ten men and make sure they come with rocks. Tear down the church and bring that. Made him a common biograpuy, even though your family was miles away because of him.

He had some kind of epilepsy. Was a gargantuan drinker. I mean all night all the time. But he was always sickly. He was a brute with a temper. Always hitting people with sticks and fists, etc. In short which Massie never is. Dragging out things in unnecessary detail.

Entering whole documents that could have been easily summarized. He was a thoroughly bad man, even measured by the standards of the day, who accomplished wonderful things and transformed his country in good ways that lived long after him. Churchgoing people might call him an example of how God uses weak people to his purpose. Too mysterious for me.

WOW what a challenge to get through. It's not only that the book is big; I'm a fast reader, and I would say it took me about four days not counting the lengthy breaks between reading sessions. It's that much of the material is heavy reading. The guy forces his first wife into a convent and later has her son beaten to death, a fate which, I'm sure, rather affected how the two grandchildren felt about the Tsar. Charles the XII of Sweden invades Russia; his army sustains itself partly by hanging li WOW what a challenge to get through.

Charles the XII of Sweden invades Russia; his army sustains itself partly by hanging little peasant children unless Mom reveals the family's stash of winter food without which they will surely starve. Tatars sweep across the south of Russia year after year, carrying away thousands of slaves, and nobody seems to be able to do anything about it. But make sure you get the Tsar's royal title right; he may not defend the borders too well, but he will take your head off if he feels you disrespected him.

That is, if you're lucky enough to escape being broken on the wheel or impaled Sorry, at this point I can't help cheering for Cromwell. I appreciate that geat book doesn't simply recount yhe happened" in a linear fashion; instead, it frequently steps back to give you an overview of the history, culture, and geography surrounding pivotal events. I did find the author's apparent admiration of the Tsarita Sophia repulsive.

Sure terem seclusion is not an ideal fate for any girl, but other women endured worse without resorting to murder via instigating riots. Ironically, Peter later did much to free Russian princesses from the terem.

Too bad Sophia had already made sure bezt be locked up for life. I admit, a lot grewt the little details washed out of my brain as soon as I'd read them.

But some things stuck. The way the serfs would dismantle their Lincoln-log style homes to evade the house tax and then reassemble them when the coast was clear was hilarious.

The way alcoholism, corruption and backwardness saturated every level of society, even -- if not especially -- the clergy; tragic. The juxtaposition of Peter's impressive professional accomplishments and his sometimes spectacular failures as a husband, father, and decent human being is thought-provoking.

You can't easily dismiss or pigeonhole him. I do feel that I understand Russia a little better after reading this book. This is by no means an extensive review.

There's no way I could do the book justice. If you want a thorough look at the life and times of Biigraphy the Great, this is it. If you want a best biography of peter the great introduction, I have to suggest something slimmer. I checked this out and returned it three times thf I managed to get through it.

European history buffs, biography lovers. Robert Massie is a master of historical narrative, and here he turns his attention to a subject fully deserving of his exhaustive style. Crowned Tsar at the age of ten, Peter the Gdeat single-handedly pulled his best biography of peter the great out of the backwater malaise in which it was mired, and placed it squarely in the center of the European picture, where it bedt remained to this day.

Peter's forceful personality is given plenty of room to present itself through the book. In his early twenties, he traveled through Robert Massie is a master of historical narrative, and here he turns his attention to a subject fully deserving of his exhaustive style.

In his early twenties, he traveled throughout Europe, learning the politics and customs of the west. Upon returning to Russia, he set about to reshape the country into his version of the Western image. By shear force of best biography of peter the great, Peter overcame all opposition as he guided the largest country in Europe into modernity. Among his accomplishments were greay founding of a new capital city St. Petersburg and the ex nihilo creation of what would become one of the most powerful navies in the world.

The historical narrative, engagingly spun and interwoven with the larger European thread, is fascinating enough, but it is in its biographical aspects that this biograpby really shines. Peter of course is the star, and Massie paints this incredibly complex leader in all his colors, from regal autocrat to devoted husband and father.

In addition to Peter, his entire supporting cast receives Massie's exhaustive treatment. Advisers and courtiers, contemporary world leaders whether allies or enemiesnone of the lives that best biography of peter the great Peter's go undeveloped.

The biogrzphy is then allowed to see how the interplay of personalities shaped oeter crucial period of European brst. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to learn best biography of peter the great about this extraordinary historical figure, or European history in general. Massie's scope is certainly ambitious, but he achieves it almost effortlessly. This will certainly become on of the classical biographies of a man who made a tremendous impact on the world. Massie is massive, a mediocre writer, and padded.

In some ways, I got a better sense of Charles XII of Sweden -- Peter's two-decade adversary -- than Peter himself. And it was criminal to omit maps of the progress of building St. Petersburg, his greatest achievement. Still, much to like, including a reasonably straight-forward chronology of his Peter's life and effect on the Russian nation.

Written before the fall of the USSR, it's a bit out of date, and so I wonder how much more information migh Massie is massive, a mediocre writer, and padded. Written before the fall of the USSR, it's a bit out of date, and so Bst wonder how much more information might be available. But, because this book is unburdened by footnotes, there's no way to cross-check.

Mar 22, Arun Divakar rated it really liked it Shelves: No matter how small the magnitude, change is almost always met with resistance. This can be observed even in the parlance of our lives in both the best biography of peter the great and professional arenas. That is also why change management is such a big thing for corporates.

Ironing out all the repercussions of a change means quite a lot of work and a lot of back and bipgraphy between the parties involved. If we step outside the microcosm of our lives and expand this aspect of change to the scale of a nation state, then th No matter besy small the magnitude, change is almost always met with resistance.

If we step outside the microcosm of our lives and expand this aspect of change to the scale of a niography state, then the stakes are much higher. A nationwide change would require surmounting countless obstacles in terms of administration, logistics and decision making and the combined effort of a lot of individuals. But more important than all of this would be to have a person or a group of people to take a decision and stick to it.

The recent exercise of currency de-monetization in India is but an example of a best biography of peter the great change and its aftermath. Having been here and been through the whole exercise, I have seen first-hand how hard it is to drive change across a nation. It is never an easy task to change the way a large mass of people think and yet this is exactly what one single man did to the Russian empire in the 16th and 17th centuries and this book is his story.

Russia in the 16th century was far below the stature of all the European nations in terms of advancements in almost every conceivable field. They were a society drawn almost completely inward and their religious leanings bet did not allow for much in the way of reformation. As was always the course of history in those times, Peter comes to the throne following power struggle with his sister.

Peter spends his childhood playing boy soldiers with his group and his teenage years building and sailing boats in inland lakes. These skills come handy to him later as a warrior and also as the head of the fledgling Russian Navy. The Embassy to the West: The trait of Peter that stands out best here is his curiosity and willingness to learn.

He is like a sponge that soaks up all that is around him and then later puts it to best biography of peter the great use in his own nation. His interactions with the heads of the nation states and his first forays against the Ottoman empire also form part of this story. At this stage of his life, Peter is viewed by the world as a delightful and slightly eccentric emperor but not beyond that.

The Great War to the North: Multiple skirmishes and battles are recounted in great detail and Massie excels in this part of the book with the extensive research that shows in how he narrates the battles. The outcome of the war is the rise of Russia and the downfall of Sweden on the world stage where Peter finally emerges as a force to be reckoned with. The later years and reforms: From his building of St. Petersburg covered in the initial phase of his life to his orders on how to get the city populated he makes best biography of peter the great shaking changes to the lives of people in Russia.

Peter has his eyes and ears everywhere and institutes multiple reforms but then all of this has the other side too. The challenge with being the sole reformer of such a vast nation was also that nothing really moves until Peter were to step in.

It must also be said that he failed in maintaining a well-oiled system for the running of his nation and also in curbing massive corruption by his own officials. Then again were the taxes which literally grreat the back of the peasants in Russia. The writing of the book resounds more with fiction than a non-fiction work for it moves smoothly and incredibly fast.

Massie has done a lot of research and with the backing of this he brings Russia of the biograhy and 17th centuries alive in the book. I did not find anything not to like about the book. After reading this book, it is impossible to deny that "the Great" is a well-earned title for Peter. Massie's very readable biography illustrates how one remarkable man almost singlehandedly pulled Russia from the dark ages right into the middle of the European theater.

It would take an entire book for me to even list all the reasons this man was so remarkable but hey, that's why you should read this one! One of Massie's greatest strengths as a biographer is his ability to place his character After reading this book, it is impossible to deny that "the Great" is a well-earned title for Peter. One of Massie's greatest strengths as a biographer is his ability to place his character's decisions and attitudes in their broad historical contexts.

Great read, and an entire European history course as well. Mar 21, Betsy rated it it was amazing. Excellent book about one of the towering figures Peter I was 6'7" in world history. After reading this I have read many books about Peter, but this is still the best.

Apr 07, Patrick Carpenter rated it really liked it. I came to this book looking for a slice of Peter the Great, but Robert Massie is not the kind of person to serve up a half-measure of anything. Instead of a quick dish I could sample, Massie sets the table with all of the Renaissance accouterments, the 50 course meal, the kegs of kvass and bottles and bottles and bottles of vodka, with the mock Tsar presiding, Charles XII rampaging across the hall, and the illumina 80 days to finish this, with a number of other books finished in the meanwhile.

Instead of a quick dish I could sample, Massie sets the table peger all of the Renaissance accouterments, the 50 course meal, the kegs of kvass and bottles and bottles and bottles of vodka, with the mock Tsar presiding, Charles XII rampaging across the hall, and the illumination of the Sun King shining from afar. You will learn Peter by immersion. To mix my metaphors even more thoroughly, this book is a journey, an epic; you are in it for the long haul.

But it is masterfully well told. Peter the Great comes petter in the telling. Oct 19, Brian Eshleman rated it really liked it Shelves: There is plenty of five-star material in this. When the author gets into Peter's head through his biogrraphy with his expectations for biogrqphy son or his intimate, playful banter with his wife, his writing is really special. When he backs up to put Peter in the context of the 18th century by comparing him to other rulers who were also autocratic and even brutal when necessary but get better press because their homelands aren't as mysterious as Russia, his writing is special.

Peter bolts off the page a There is plenty of five-star material in this. Peter bolts off the page as a curious, energetic, even frenetic, willful, nation-changing presence.

But rare indeed is the writer who can maintain a five-star level for THIS long unless the subject he or she is undertaking is already at the core of the reader's interest. That wasn't the case for me, so I think Robert Massie might have found some streamlining beneficial.

The wars over Poland seem to go on forever — at least for this reader. Often, monarchs are given titles or, more accurately, give themselves grsat that are grandiose and exaggerated. Not in the case. Peter of Russia was truly "Great". He singlehandedly brought Russia out of its Dark Ages although there was still much work to be peteintroduced the new Russia to Europe, who best biography of peter the great had thought of Russians as slightly humanized bears, and introduced many, many "modern" inventions, strategies, statecraft, and ideas Note: He singlehandedly brought Russia out of its Dark Ages although there was still much work to be doneintroduced the new Russia to Europe, who heretofore had thought of Russians as slightly humanized bears, and introduced many, many "modern" inventions, strategies, statecraft, and ideas to Russia.

His list of achievements is staggering, and possibly the biogrqphy remarkable of them all is that Peter insisted on learning everything from the ground up - if he wished to learn something, he began at the bottom, like anyone else, and ppeter any salaries or awards that a person of that rank would not grreat normally received.

Peter himself, and his "world", were fascinating to read about. Admittedly, I am not enthralled by most military history, nor do I find the minutiae of battles of great interest, but there were entire chapters that were very, very difficult to get through.

Although I acknowledge that pwter battles had aftereffects that shaped Russia, and of course biograpyy tsar, I wonder if perhaps Massie would have benefited from selective editing in those chapters. By contrast, although Massie does write about Peter and Catherine's family, I would have preferred to learn a little more about their family life and their surviving children - but perhaps they were not great factors in Peter's "world", and as such, Massie did not spend a lot of time on them.

Or perhaps it is just personal preference when it comes to reading biographies which also serve as a history of a country, such as in this book. However, I learned much about Russia, and of the world at that time, by reading this book, and I would recommend it to almost anyone who is a fan of best biography of peter the great biography.

Ahead of another person who radically altered the destiny of Russia after him — Vladimir Lenin. This was my second book by R. Massie, first being a wonderful tome on Catherine II another of only three monarchs so styled since the establishment of tzardom in Russia in XV century.

What I can surmise upon reading these two books — on Catherine and Peter — the author loved Russia. I would go even further proposing that he was a very pleasant person to be with. Massie probably was adored by his students. Time thd again you will run into some tangential figures main protagonist meets. It looks like Mr. An example for all historians.

Aug 01, Donna rated it really liked it.

Having read two books about Catherine the Great, I was curious about what happened before her time. I am a fast reader but even I had to borrow this book from the library twice to get through it. An extremely complex man, to say the least.

He single-handedly pulled Russia into modern and Western civilization. Massie gives a balanced account of someone who could be unbelievably generous and turn around and be unbelievably cruel, literally. There is no hiding of his cruelty or Having read two books about Catherine the Great, I was curious about what happened before her time. There is no hiding of his cruelty or his unquenchable desire to learn and share that with anyone and everyone.

His unending restlessness was his curse and his blessing.

best biography of peter the great

To be in his presence must have been thrilling and frightening all at once. This is just bedt impression I got from his story, I was truly impressed with him. And also, from the comfort of hindsight, feel so sorry for him. He wanted nothing but the best for his people and so many fought him each step of the way.

The war, the incessant DIYing it, made for an long but satisying read about a person of history I had only a sketchy knowledge at best. Sep 13, Czarny Pies rated it really liked it Shelves: It is the great length of Robert Massie's "Peter the Great" that makes peetr such a joy to read. Massie devotes a great deal of space to providing background information on the people and social trends that Peter the Great encountered to ensure that the North American reader with little knowledge in these areas never feels lost.

Massie's book is popular history at its best. It is thoroughly researched and very prudent in its judgements while providing abundant material to assist those who are not f It is the great length of Bdst Massie's "Peter the Great" that makes it such a joy to read. It is thoroughly researched and very prudent in its judgements while providing abundant material to assist those who are not familiar with the subject.

Massie's book has aged very well in the 36 years since it was published. Massie explains in his epilogue that he decided to rigorously avoid participating in any the various efforts then underway to find contemporary lessons from the life of Peter the Great. He neither condemns Peter the Great for being an autocrat nor does he lavish excessive praise on him for his forceful effort to modernize Russia. Massie's conclusion is simply that Peter the Great was a force of nature.

The reader is left if he or she so chooses to draw any lessons for today's world. View all 3 comments. Oct 23, Elizabeth S rated it it was amazing Shelves: Although long, this biography of Peter the Great was very readable.

It was written at exactly the right level for me. I am interested in history, but I didn't know much about Russia before the twentieth century. Massie gives incredible detail, interspersed with appropriate anecdotes, and still the book does not drag.

Massie meant it when he put "and World" Although long, this biography of Peter the Great was very readable. Massie meant it when he put "and World" into the title.

In other reviews some people have disliked the amount of time spent on wars and battles, bewt on the navy, or the the biogaphy of St. Petersburg, but I enjoyed it all. Buddy Read, July 59 33 Mar 30, Robert Kinloch Massie th is an American historian, writer, winner of a Pulitzer Prize, and a Rhodes Scholar. Share on your website title link preview: Trivia About Peter the Great: Quotes from Peter the Roxy cottontail biography His games had grown from drills involving a few hundred idle stable boys and falconers to 30, men involved in the assault and defense of the river fort of Pressburg.

Now, seeking the excitement of real combat, he looked for a fortress to besiege, and Azov, isolated at the bottom of the Ukrainian steppe, suited admirably. The old Muscovite state, isolated and introverted for centuries, would reach out to Europe and open itself to Europe.

In a sense, the flow of effect was circular: For all three, therefore—Peter, Russia and Europe—the Great Embassy was a turning point. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Original Freat Peter the Great: His Life and World ISBN ISBN Less Detail edit details Get a copy: Be the first to ask a question about Peter the Great Lists with This Book Best History Books 1, books — 2, voters Best Russian History Books books — voters More lists with this book Buddy Read, July

Best biography of peter the great

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