I would recommend this work to anyone interested in Russian History. This is an equal and complimentary text to Robert K Massey's biography of Catherine the Great. Montefiore has done a great deal of research, he is sympathetic to the subjects. He understands the contemporary social morals and appreciates the subtleties and complexities of the Russian, European and Asian politics of the time. He releals the juxtaposition of Catherine's autocratic rule with the pressures of the "enlightenment" on her attempts to reconcile serfdom while maintaining equilibrium and effective government in a massive and mysterious country.
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