From Coryne's list on Imperial Russia and the Romanovs.
To understand Imperial Russia, you have to understand its culture. From the early days of conversion to Christianity in 987, through to Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, Suzanne Massie takes us on a wonderful journey through the customs and culture of this enigmatic land. We see the colourful markets and fairs, the carnival season and the traditions of Easter and Christmas, as well as the great artists, composers, writers, and dancers that Russia has produced. This is one of the most beautiful (and useful) books I have ever bought.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
Details the history of Russia from the religious revolution of 987 to the political revolution of 1917, graphically describing Russia's political and cultural environments under Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, and Catherine the Great