The best books about the tsar of Russia 📚

Browse the best books on the tsar of Russia as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar

Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar

By Simon Sebag Montefiore

Why this book?

Sebag Montefiore was the first western historian to really take advantage of the opening of Russian – and Georgian – archival sources on Stalin and his career. Court of the Red Tsar offers a precious glimpse into Stalin’s inner circle and the way the USSR was governed in the 1930s and 1940s. Although gossipy at times, and written in a popular style some professional historians resent, the book is deeply researched and a treasure trove of information which is hard to find elsewhere.

From the list:

The best books on Stalin and the Second World War

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Book cover of Thirteen Years at the Russian Court: A Personal Record of the Last Years and Death of the Tsar Nicholas II, and His Family

Thirteen Years at the Russian Court: A Personal Record of the Last Years and Death of the Tsar Nicholas II, and His Family

By Pierre Gilliard

Why this book?

This is the personal account of the family of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra as told by their children’s French-language tutor. Gilliard, who spent the years 1905-1918 in the bosom of the imperial family, came to know the family well, and hence had nearly unprecedented access to them. Gilliard succeeds in fleshing out the personalities of the ill-fated family who were devoted to each other, to God, and to Russia. He also highlights in vivid detail the impact of the Tsarevich Alexis’s hemophilia on him, his family, and most especially his distraught mother. Thanks to Gilliard, we come to…

From the list:

The best books on the Romanovs and the Reign of Tsar Nicholas II

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Book cover of The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II

The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II

By Edvard Radzinsky

Why this book?

Radvinsky is a celebrated Russian playwright and historian. Raised in the Soviet Union, when information about the last Romanovs was repressed, his unique take on the tsar’s life makes this both a fascinating history and thoughtful meditation on what Nicholas II represents to Russians.

From the list:

The best books on the last Romanovs

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Book cover of The Last Grand Duchess: Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna

The Last Grand Duchess: Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna

By Ian Vorres

Why this book?

A skillfully written account and engaging portrait of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna (1882-1960), younger sister of Tsar Nicholas II. Olga Alexandrovna’s life was no less dramatic than that of her brother, Nicholas II. Daughter, granddaughter, and sister to Russian emperors, Olga – a woman devoid of vanity and imbued with a strong faith – lived a life that could never be replicated. Immersed in the splendors of the Russian court, Olga also suffered through the Russian Revolution, and ultimately left Russia for a life of exile in Denmark and Canada. The Last Grand Duchess is Olga’s memoirs as told to…

From the list:

The best books on the Romanovs and the Reign of Tsar Nicholas II

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Book cover of Romanoff Gold

Romanoff Gold

By William Clarke

Why this book?

This is an updated version of William Clarke’s Lost Fortune of the Tsars with additional information added since first publication. It gives a detailed, comprehensive account of the immense wealth of the Imperial family before the revolution and what happened to the money, jewels, palaces, and other riches in the chaos that followed. Faced with bank confidentiality and reluctance to talk, it reads like a detective story as the author investigates bank accounts, vaults, and jewels spirited away. The result is a fascinating account of what belonged to the Tsar’s family and what belonged to the state.

From the list:

The best books on Imperial Russia and the Romanovs

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Book cover of The Romanovs: Autocrats of All the Russias

The Romanovs: Autocrats of All the Russias

By W. Bruce Lincoln

Why this book?

A comprehensive and lengthy study of the three-hundred-year rule of the Romanov dynasty, with particular attention paid to the reign of Russia’s last Tsar, Nicholas II. Lincoln, who was a professor of Russian history at Northern Illinois University, succeeds in bringing to life the sweeping saga of the Romanovs from their beginning in the seventeenth century with the accession to the throne of Michael I to the end with the abdication of Nicholas II in 1917 and onwards to the executions of the imperial family in 1918.

The Romanovs can be treated as both a general reference book for Romanov…

From the list:

The best books on the Romanovs and the Reign of Tsar Nicholas II

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