The Empire Must Die: Russia's Revolutionary Collapse, 1900-1917

3.2
From Tolstoy to Lenin, from Diaghilev to Stalin, The Empire Must Die is th tragedy of operatic proportions with a cast of characters that ranges from the exotic to utterly villainous, the glamorous to the depraved.
In 1912, Russia experienced a flowering of liberalism and tolerance that placed it at the forefront of the modern world: women were fighting for the right to vote in the elections for the newly empowered parliament, Russian art and culture was the envy of Europe and America, there was a vibrant free press and intellectual life. But a fatal flaw was left uncorrected: Russia 's exuberant experimental moment took place atop a rotten foundation. The old imperial order, in place for three hundred years, still held the nation in thrall. Its princes, archdukes, and generals bled the country dry during the First World War and by 1917 the only consensus was that the Empire must die.
Mikhail Zygar 's dazzling, in-the-moment retelling of the two ecades that prefigured the death of the Tsar, his family, and thi entire imperial edifice is a captivating drama of what mus have been versus what was subsequently seen as inevitable. A monumental piece of political theater that only Russia was capable of enacting, the fall of the Russian Empire changed the course of the nineteenth century and eerily anticipated the mood of the twenty-first.
Year of the Publication
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Number of Pages
558
Publication Date
Published November 7th 2017 by PublicAffairs

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Pros:+ Russian author who uses history to give insight into current Russian politics.+ A super in-depth look at the Russian revolution+ I ’ ve read a fair amount about the revolution but never from such varied perspectives+ All rubles are converted from 1900s values into modern USD, which REALLY helps put things into perspective+ Because it ’ s explaine in a journalistic way, there is little bias that colors the presented people and events+ The epilogue is so powerful it bumped my rating from a 4 to a 5Cons:- Really heavy on names/places, and that might be super overwhelming, espec.

if you but thi book down for a few ays and forget everything ( like me)- If you prefer your nonfic to focus on personal lives, this one ’ s only for you

ead books written by the people whom the history belongs to.

Usuall do they focus on the means it took to get there, and thi day of missteps, from the embarrassing to the tragic, that resulte the revolution in the first place.So, to me, the memoi is unique.

rated it

It has one big advantage: lots of tuff.

This lot of times this just reads like a bad undergraduate paper where it just gives paragraph after paragraph of stuff, with out any clear reason why it 's there.I 'll give an example.

Let 's look at the secon chapter, titled, " In which Leo Tolstoy becomes a symbol of the fight against the regime and the main ideologist of the pposition. " he first forty pages or so deals with Tolstoy and his beliefs .....

Another autobiograph is ust one vague, formless blob of stuff.

rated it

He is, therefore, th very distinguished journalist and as brave as any war correspondent, having been the editor-in-chief of Dozhd, the only independent news TV channel in Russia between 2010-15, and inner of the International Press Freedom Award.Zygar says that his book “ was written according to the rules of journalism: as if the characters were alive and I had been eager to interview them ”.

Interestingly, Zygar ’ s claims seem at odds with his title: why woul the Russian Empire die, if the future is not written? In “ turning the stories of the dramatis personae into a narrative ” Zygar decries the tendency of most Russian historians to focus on the sovereign, and instead selects as his protagonists “ the most luminous members of society: the leaders and shapers of public opinion – not only politicians, but also writers, ournalists, artists and preachers. ” It seems to me that tha is all highly problematic.

And what does a member of he Black Hundreds have in common with a member of the liberal intelligentsia?

rated it

While much has been penne about the fall of Tsarist Russia and the rise of the USSR under the Bolsheviks, the civil society centered on non-Bolshevik revolutionaries and reactionary forces are often overlooked.Mr. Zygar seeks to correct tha imbalance in this exhaustive account of period between Tsar Nicholas II 's coronation and the disintegratio of Kerensky 's provisional government.

rated it

It was efreshing to finally read something about his time period that was n't focused on the Romanovs.

his ook is an excellent reference for this time eriod, or anothe great gift for a fan of the ussian state.

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© Nicole Waggonner