Peter the Great : His Life and World
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Author: Robert K. Massie
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 10. 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 greatest strengths and weaknesses of Russia while being at the very forefront of her development. Robert K. 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 charming, unscrupulous prince who rose to power through Peter's friendship. Impetuous and stubborn, generous and cruel, a man of enormous energy and complexity, Peter the Great is brought fully to life. About the Author Robert Kinloch Massie (born 1929) is an American historian, writer, winner of a Pulitzer Prize, and a Rhodes Scholar. Born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1929, Massie spent 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 Rhodes Scholarship. Massie went to work as a journalist for Newsweek from 1959 to 1964 and then took a position at the Saturday Evening Post. After he and his family left America for France, Massie wrote and published his breakthrough book, Nicholas and Alexandra, a biography of the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, his wife, Alexandra of Hesse, and their family and cultural/political milieu. Massie's interest in the Tsar's family was triggered by the birth of his son, the Rev. Robert Kinloch Massie, who suffers from hemophilia, a hereditary disease that also afflicted the last Tsar's son, Alexei. In 1971, the book was the basis of an Academy Award winning film of the same title. In 1995, in his book The Romanovs: The Final Chapter, Massie updated Nicholas and Alexandra with much newly-discovered information. In 1975, Robert 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 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Biography for Peter the Great: His Life and World. This book inspired a 1986 NBC mini-series that won three Emmy Awards, (Peter the Great (TV Series)) and starred Maximilian Schell, Laurence Olivier and Vanessa Redgrave.