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Peter the Great [Mass Market Paperback]

Robert K. Massie
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

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Mass Market Paperback, 1 Jan 1997 --  
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Book Description

1 Jan 1997
"Enthralling...As fascinating as any novel and more so than most!"
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Against the monumental canvas of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe and Russia, unfolds the magnificent story of Peter the Great. He brought Russia from the darkness of its own Middle Ages into the Enlightenment and transformed it into the power that has its legacy in the Russia of our own century.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 934 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books Inc.; 1st Ballantine Books Mass Market Ed edition (1 Jan 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345336194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345336194
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 11.7 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 602,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Enthralling. As fascinating as a novel and more so than most.' New York Times.

'Urgently readable . . . the work of a master of narrative history' Newsweek.

'Exceptional' New Yorker. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Robert K Massie was born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1929. He studied American History at Yale University and Modern European History at Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes scholar. He lives in Irvington, New York. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Around Moscow, the country rolls gently up from the rivers winding in silvery loops across the pleasant landscape. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Historical Biography I've ever read 17 July 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is truly epic in scale, you not only get Peter, but Malborough, Charles XII of Sweden, The Sun King, William of Orange, Augustus Of Poland and the Ottoman Empire. The amazing thing is,this mass of information is pulled into a narrative that is so well written, that you scarcely realise that you've just ploughed through 850 odd pages. Fantastic
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Robert K. Massie is one of the best historical authors, he deals with his chosen topics on the human level and manages to combine the human issues with the Bigger picture. From his rise to power and through the conversion of a backward country into a true world power. Through Peter's travels an insight is provided to the whole of Europe at the time. Massie manges to balance the personal and political aspects of the story brilliantly. Overall a fascinating account of a man and the country he changed forever.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Peter the Great is one of the pivotal characters in Russian and world history. Before him Russia was a rural, inward looking collection of regions that had little to do with the western world, save for trade in furs etc. He is thought of as both a cruel autocrats who repressed his subjects and a major reformer dragging Russia into the modern era.
After Peter, she was a major player on the European stage, having a Baltic port built a great expense in both money and lives. Proving herself a military force to be taken seriously by beating the Swedes at Poltava and having a navy based on the English and Dutch models.
Massie details Peter's childhood from his play army of friends from the villages surrounding his home to the trauma of seeing his relatives horribly murdered by the Streltsi Militia during a Kremlin power struggle. An event that coloured his attitude to 'Old Russia' for the rest of his life. He deals with Peter's private life excellently with his love for his second wife and disappointment in his son weak character, whom he came to despise and is eventually thought to have had murdered, coming across particularly well.
The Northern War, military campaigns against Sweden from the disasterous battle of Narva through to the final victory at Poltava are also explained by Massie together with the cause and effect of securing Russia's borders and sea access to the Baltic.
Peter's travels to Western Europe, where he learned the art of shipbuilding in Holland and England before hurrying back to deal with another Streltsi revolt, is possibly the darkest period of his reign. His crushing of the uprising, however, was no worse than any other eighteenth century monarch faced with the same problem, but is always portrayed as the most brutal repression possible.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional 30 Sep 2004
By Pirlo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Whilst it would be difficult to make a history of Peter the Great uninteresting, Massie's biography is one of the best history books I've read.
Sufficiently detailed for the 'serious reader', it is also a wonderfully well written general account of the early eighteenth century. The book also contains numerous anecdotes; my favourite being how Peter's entourage stayed at John Evelyn's house in Deptford - and destroyed the grounds by racing in wheelbarrows before tipping people into hedges.
Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough but very entertaining 13 Feb 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I found this book a gripping and very entertaining read. Mr. Massie makes Peter the Great truly come alive in this book, and of course the subject matter helps: the hair-raising events of his early youth, his crushing of the Strelsky revolt, the war with Sweden, his travels to Western Europe and his attempts to modernize Russia. And since all this happened before the invention of human rights, the Geneva Convention and political correctness, some of the stories in this book are not for the faint of heart. At the same time this book offers a good insight into the basically eastern-ness of Russia and into the apparently unchanged character traits that bedevil Russian society to this very day. I cannot truthfully say I couldn't put this book down, but this was only because of the sheer number of pages. Once I started reading however I picked it up to continue reading at every opportunity. Worthy of everyone of its 5 stars!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceedingly well written and readable book! 27 May 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is a real gem! It gives an excellent account of Peter's life, his times and his place in Russia's history. It provides many details about Peter's military operations, his personal development and Russian culture. On the whole this is a book I would recommend to everyone. The narrative is fast paced and one really feels the drama of each moment. This book was a better read that most of the best seller novels out there today!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How about Robert the great! 18 Dec 2003
Format:Paperback
I've read numerous books on russian history but this is surely the finest(I know it's a big statement!).Massie combines a marvelous attention to detail with a narrative that reads like a work of great fiction.
Never mind about lord of the rings-this book about Peter the great's life would make a wonderful film.
I could go on but I lack the vocabulary to do justice to this simply brilliant book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb, a wonderful book 10 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Robert Massie has written a most excellent book, not only charting the history of Peter the Great, but Russia as a whole during his lifetime. From the first chapter (which describes the sights and smells of Moscow) I was enthralled.
This book also doubles up as a marvellous biography of King Charles of Sweden, and his heroics across Europe serve to overshadow Peter's deeds in several instances.
A marvellous book, simply the best I have ever read
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent
Published 13 days ago by J
5.0 out of 5 stars I simply could not put it down
I simply could not put this book down. The author's genuine fascination with the topic and his sympathy for the main character, Peter The Great, is very apparent throughout the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tia (London)
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, do not miss!
One of the best book I have read for some time. Really interesting and the writing is brilliant. As a reader you can almost see and feel the place. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Xian
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good book
Published 1 month ago by casey
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter the Great certainly deserves the title Great and the Author's...
An outstanding book about an outstanding Man. Peter the Great certainly deserves the title Great and the Author's research and story of him brings him alive. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Paulo
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
Excellent read, beautifully written, in a natural, easy-to-read style. Full of fascinating facts and details about Czar Peter and his world, it is a great story too. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter the Great
I have not finished it yet as it is a very long book but find it extremely interesting and look forward to the rest.
Published 3 months ago by Audrey Spruce
4.0 out of 5 stars Peter the Great
Captivating, detailed and very readable narrative. This account of Peter the Great reads like a well crafted novel. Read more
Published 3 months ago by sueve
5.0 out of 5 stars A long but fascinating read
Having read this book I feel I have a better understanding of the situation in Ukraine today. It is told in a style that takes you along as if you were reading a good thriller. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Otter
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, compelling reading
This is a well written and compelling book which was hard to put down. The research has been very thorough and I find the detail down to what the Tszar ate fascinating . Read more
Published 4 months ago by martyn O'reilly
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