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on 2 June 2016
The book seems to have been written in the style of an old Bible translation. It is really annoying to read and doesn't flow so well. The story itself is interesting, but the authors never seem to get at the real reason why Ivan was so terrible. They mark the change at around the time of his first wife's death, but after investigating a little about Ivan in other sources, it seems that his cruelty manifested itself even earlier, albeit not on such a large scale. His personality is just not analyzed here with enough detail and the political and social history is lacking, as well. This book is a good beginning, but if you are interested in the subject, than more needs to be read.

Ivan the Terrible was the first to call himself "Tsar," and for those interested in Russian Tsarist history than there is much you can get out of this book. But, again, there is also much lacking. It lacks depth, as said before, and the maps look like they were badly drawn by the authors themselves. There are a few pictures, but certainly not enough, and I think this book needs a bit of life. It is dry and colorless. I would recommend with only some hesitation.
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on 14 October 2014
Good overview of the first tsar; written in a straightforward style though probably not sufficiently detailed for serious scholars
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on 23 June 2016
This is an old fashioned narrative history of the subject. The author makes sweeping generalisations about the 'Russian character' and tends to look at the 16th century through the perspective of the cold war. It is certainly not the definitive biography of Ivan the Terrible but it is an entertaining read. I would not call it serious history!
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on 24 September 2014
Written in a deeply Russian voice, the story of Ivan, "more terrible than anyone can imagine", comes to gruesome, shocking life. This book could sow the seeds of a hundred historical novels. Unabashedly imaginative, favouring interpretation and subjective judgement - and all the better for it.
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on 5 January 2015
An extremely heavy read but a real eye-opener to the daily pressures and habits of the times. Tremendous detail and insight into Ivan's inner thoughts. Although a historical depiction biography it is often compelling and dramatic.

Johnny Frey
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on 26 March 2015
I love Russian history and this book was excellent. Well written and completely readable. He didnt seem so Terrible until the death of his first wife and then he really kicked off....
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on 25 February 2014
I knew nothing about the period and I learned a great deal. The book is written in an accessible way for the layperson.
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on 9 April 2014
I knew very little about Ivan the Terrible and after reading the book I feel I know a great deal. Very nice informational read about a subject not many people in the West get to hear.
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on 2 December 2015
More interesting than I expected
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on 26 May 2014
I found this book very informative and it made you aware how this individual got his title, How does such people get tolerated by the population..
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