The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia (Anglais) Relié – 8 juillet 2014
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Descriptions du produit
Revue de presse
“A remarkable human story, told with clarity and confidence.”
Publishers Weekly starred review, April 28, 2014:
“A wonderful introduction to this era in Russian history and a great read for those already familiar with it.”
Booklist starred review, June 1, 2014:
"For readers who regard history as dull, Fleming’s extraordinary book is proof positive that, on the contrary, it is endlessly fascinating, absorbing as any novel, and the stuff of an altogether memorable reading experience."
The Horn Book starred review, July/August 2014:
"Fleming has outdone herself with this riveting work of narrative nonfiction that appeals to the imagination as much as the intellect."
School Library Journal starred review, June 2014:
"This is both a sobering work, and the account of the discovery of their bones and the aftermath is at once fascinating and distressing. A solid resource and good recreational reading for high school students."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books starred review, September 2014:
“With comprehensive source notes and bibliographies of print and online materials, this will be a boon to student researchers, but it’s also a heartbreaking page-turner for YAs who prefer their nonfiction to read like a novel.”
Présentation de l'éditeur
Here is the tumultuous, heartrending, true story of the Romanovs—at once an intimate portrait of Russia's last royal family and a gripping account of its undoing. Using captivating photos and compelling first person accounts, award-winning author Candace Fleming (Amelia Lost; The Lincolns) deftly maneuvers between the imperial family’s extravagant lives and the plight of Russia's poor masses, making this an utterly mesmerizing read as well as a perfect resource for meeting Common Core standards.
"An exhilarating narrative history of a doomed and clueless family and empire." —Jim Murphy, author of Newbery Honor Books An American Plague and The Great Fire
"For readers who regard history as dull, Fleming’s extraordinary book is proof positive that, on the contrary, it is endlessly fascinating, absorbing as any novel, and the stuff of an altogether memorable reading experience." —Booklist, Starred
"Marrying the intimate family portrait of Heiligman’s Charles and Emma with the politics and intrigue of Sheinkin’s Bomb, Fleming has outdone herself with this riveting work of narrative nonfiction that appeals to the imagination as much as the intellect." —The Horn Book, Starred
A Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
A YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award Finalist
Winner of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction
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The three stories are:
1. A story of the intimate lives of the Romanov family itelf
2. A description of the events from the worker strikes of 1905 until Vladimir Lenin took power in 1917
3. An observation of the life of the average man/ a peasant at the turn of the 20th century and how it contrasted with the lives of the very wealthy, particularly the Tsar and his extended family.
The book is of moderate length with two seperate groupings of approximatley 70 Black & White plates showing the most interesting characters discussed in the narrative. The chapter lengths are quite short with easy to read narrative and a derth of long and obfuscative words, so that it would be suitable for ate middle school readers andothers expecially interested in Russian History. This narrative history is further divided into four sections:
Part One: Before the Storm
Part Two: Dark Clouds Gathering
Part Three: The Storm Breaks
Part Four: Final Days
The author thought to include a rather extensive bibliography, a more than adequate index, and a page of references for internet sites that also enable further study and a lot more pictures of the times and characters discussed.
Most people would agree that the murder of the Tsar and his entire family and some of his entourage along with Anastasia's pet dog was a heinour and brutal crime, yet the author takes great pains and showing that Tsar Nicholas and his wife Tsarista Alexandra or Alix in German [she directly came from the house of ZHesse in Germany] and both she and Nicky were grandchildren of Queeen Victoria of England and also cousins. Actually most of European nobility was quite closely related at the time. Nicky and Alix lived a life that was so far removed from the common man that it is hard to describe. Alexandra thought the main palace at St Petersburg or Petrograd in Russian was too barren and cold, as it along with its outbuildings and servant and other family quarters stretched for approximatley three miles along the Neva River. So she opted that they move into the more modest dwelling of 800 acres with only 100 rooms about 12 miles away. Now, that really is roughing it, isn't it? As a direct contrast we find out that "most peasants had never slept in a proper bed, never owned a pair of leather shoes, eaten off a china plate, or [ever] been examined by a doctor.
As the 20th century began, the blue bloods or BELAYA KOST, comprised of about 870 extended families of the Tsar made up about 1.5% of the population of Russia's 130 million people at the time, yet they controlled 90% of the wealth of the country. Talk about your income inequality. At the time, factory workers in the cities earned about 80 Kopecs/day or 40 cents for a 12 hour day. Women only had to work 11 hours, so they could get home in time to prepare the meals and clean house for the rest of the family, yet they earned 1/3 of men's wages, and if you think that bad, young children who were forced to work the same 12 hour days as their fathers earned a mere 1/2 kopec/hour or 3 cents for a 12 hour shift. If anyone complained they were fired on the spot.
To put this more into perspective, at the time Nicholas was placed in captive exhile with his family, they took with them "two valets, six chambermaids, ten footmaen, three cooks, four assistant cooks, a clerk, a nurse, a doctor, a barber, a butler, a wine steward tow pet spaniels, and a bull dog, p;lus later joined by tutors for the children, all of which was paid for by the average factory worker and peasant who were all starving at the time. When the family moved from one location to another it took 50 soldiers to move their personal belongings. The grand duchesses wanted their bed linens changed daily as it had been in the palace, so they hired and outside laundry service racking up a laudry bill of 428.00 dollars for the first few weeks.
The author does a nice job of covering many of the events of WWI and Russia's participation plus the relationship of Father Gregory Rasputin, the so-called STARETS or holyman and emperess Alexandra, who was trying to save young Alexei from death due to hemophilia. There is a nice background story to Lenin's rise to power, but the most mesmerizing part was the stark contrast of how 84% of the populace who were peasants lived as compared to the royals and their extended family. Most people know that the family took their own jewels with them and sewed them into the girls clothing,but what most people didn't realize is that those precious jewel weighed 19 pounds and were worth 14 million at that time. Reading both sides of the story lets you come away with a different perspective of the tragic events.
Well worth the read.
This book brings the history of the Romanovs (the last Russian royal family) to life in photos and wonderfully written insights. We get to see inside the family with intimate first person accounts of this tragic family. The photos are truly amazing and enlightening. Reading this well written book gives us a true vision into the before, during, and after events that brought down this family. As well as the events that forever changed the face of Russia.
It is really interesting to see not only the history of the family, but also the information on the state of Russia, its citizens and their view of royalty in the face of war and the devastation that drove the peasants to revolt. Nicholas II and his family were not prepared for inheriting the throne in 1894. His wife wanted to live the opulent life, but deal with none of the responsibilities. There daughters Marie, Tatiana, Olga and of course Anastasia are brought to life in snippets of fun and real life. The citizens of Russia are heard from in their own accounts and that really brings it to life. And let’s not forget that famous mystic Rasputin is in this true tale. So many stories, fictional and non have been written about Rasputin and Anastasia that it is nice to hear the historical facts.
This book is written to satisfy Common Core Standards and therefore written for young adults. It is lively and easy to read. A big feat for me since I have a very hard time reading non-fiction these days. If I can get through it and enjoy it, I am sure history buffs will devour it. The layout of the book is friendly and entertaining. Nothing is dragged out so that you get bored or forget what you read. Yep that happens to me. Ms Fleming has done copious research and her writing is flowing and interspersed with dialogue from the mouth of the actual people.
I would definitely recommend The Family Romanov to anyone that enjoys history. It is so well written and researched and sure to satisfy the most ardent fans of this time period. The reader gets a truly in-depth journey into the state of Russia leading up to World War I and the events that changed the once powerful empire. The murder of the Romanov family by Bolsheviks in 1918 is heartbreaking. The Family Romanov is a captivating journey into history. That is actually saying a lot as I am not a history buff. Ms. Fleming has authored a fabulous and in-depth book that draws you in and keeps you involved until the end.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*
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Determined to answer a question that kept nagging her, Candace Fleming spent three years gathering research that would address the hows and whys of what led up to this opulent family's gruesome demise. Author of a wide-spectrum of children’s and young adult literature, Fleming divided her painstaking information into four chronologically arranged sections. Aptly entitled Before the Storm, Dark Clouds Gathering, The Storm Breaks, and Final Days, these segments make up three stories in one book. As Fleming states, "The first is an intimate look at the Romanovs themselves. The second follows the sweep of revolution from the workers' strikes of 1905 to Lenin's rise to power in November 1917. And the third --- conveyed in their own words --- is the personal stories of the men and women whose struggle for a better life directly affected the course of the Romanovs' lives."
Before the Storm provides a window into Nicholas' childhood, his courtship with Alix of Hesse, the couple's hastily-planned wedding, their long-awaited heir and the secrecy of the heir's incurable disease. Fleming contrasts the Romanov's lifestyle with poignant and somber first-person accounts of what life was like concurrently for peasants. Dark Clouds Gathering describes the stark disparity growing between the reclusive Romanovs and the remainder of Russian society, and Rasputin, the mysterious so-called prophet, who healed the sickly heir. A great dichotomy immerges as unrest builds in the country while the tsar and empress emphatically deny the turbulent news. Once again, Fleming juxtaposes hauntingly disturbing personal accounts that reflect the despairingly overwhelming economic conditions affecting Russian citizens.
Turmoil continuing to spread across Russia and its bordering countries, part three – The Storm Breaks – expands not only on the country's frail economic environs, but also the ever-weakening political sphere as Russia enters into what is later known as World War I, and the end of 304 years of Romanov rule. Included are the roles the Romanov women play in the war, the notorious Rasputin's bizarre stronghold on the affluent family and his demise and Fleming's addition of pertinent individual narratives. Final Days, of course, is the most gripping aspect of the Romanov tale. While Lenin takes control and they are moved from one location to the next under the guise of protection, the Romanovs are absolutely clueless as well as in complete denial of the truth --- up to the very end of their demise. Fleming closes with more personal accounts that reflect Russia's economic and political tenor, the various rumors that accompany the family's puzzling disappearance and the discovery of their clandestine burial and DNA findings.
Fleming states, "as of this writing, the remains of the last two Romanovs' have yet to be buried. Instead, they lie in a cardboard box in Moscow's State Archive of the Russian Federation, waiting for the day when they will once again be, as Nicholas called them, 'a small family circle.'' Incredibly spellbinding from cover to cover, THE FAMILY ROMANOV is replete with a plethora of pictures (some taken by Fleming herself), and primary, general and online resources for further reading. A must read, indeed, for ALL ages!
Reviewed by Anita Lock.
I'd recommend for 8th or 9th grade and up--independent reading or reading in a literature circle or for an advanced 7th grade reader who has background knowledge about this era. There could be some amazing discussion about Fleming's choice of details and how she weaves primary sources into the narrative as well as the central ideas in the book.
Also, Fleming makes an interesting point in her author's notes about how thoughts about the Tsar and his family were, for many decades, based on former nobility's fond memories of the times with family, nobility that fled to Europe when the Soviets took control. For decades citizens of this part of the world were forbidden to talk about the murder of this family. With the fall of Communism in 1991, though, the outside world was allowed to access Nicholas' diaries and letters as well as diaries written by the children and to gain a better idea of what these people were like. There was also access to documents related to the investigation of the family's murder with accounts from villagers and even the man who was in charge of their execution. It would make for interesting conversation to compare a book or text written about the Romanov family prior to 1991 and this one by Fleming.
This book has received much well-deserved recognition and many awards including NCTE's Orbis Pictus Award for 2015 and ALA's Sibert Honor Award 2015.