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The Fall of the Romanoffs

Anon; introduction by Alan Wood

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Written in 1917 between the February and October Revolutions, this book is a highly subjective account of the demise of the Romanov dynasty which had ruled Russia for 300 years. The author, an anonymous aristocrat, attaches most of the blame for events to the Empress Alexandra and the clique of German sympathisers surrounding her who were thought to be undermining the country's efforts in times of war.

A leading character in the story is the staretz (or travelling holy man) Rasputin, whose baleful influence on the Empress was a major factor in alienating much of the political establishment from the royal family. The 'traitor's' rise to power, his period of dominance and his eventual murder are described by the author in elaborate detail.

A host of other personalities take the stage in the course of the narrative - members of the court circle, military leaders and politicians of various persuasions. In the latter part of the book there appear the 'Lenintzys', or Bolsheviks, whose growing influence amongst workers and soldiers is noted by the author with unease but whose cataclysmic role in the months to come he fails completely to foresee.

Alan Wood was Senior Lecturer in Russian History at Lancaster University and Convenor of the British Universities Siberian Studies Seminar. Among his numerous publications on Russian and Soviet history are Siberia: Problems and Prospects for Regional Development; Origins of the Russian Revolution; Stalin and Stalinism.


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