This is a well-written book that tells the story of the legendary Russian Czar and an era in ways that few other books have been able to door. It is written with a deep appreciation of facts and flows smoothly.Peter The Great's personality is well describes, his travels well told, his goals well articulated and the challenges he faced trying to realize them well exposed. I ended up knowing more about Russia,its history, culture and mind set in ways that I never imagined before and set me on the path of looking for other works that explain Russia to a foreigner better. It led me to The Union Moujik,The Master and the Marguarita. What we see as divisions in Russia today, or the broader Eastern Slavs are well explained.