The Rasputin File
Rasputin, one of the most fascinating and controversial figures of the twentieth century, has remained cloaked in the myth of his own devising since his extraordinary ascent to power in the court of Nicholas and Alexandra, the last tsar and tsarina of Russia. Until now. Edvard Radzinsky, the author of… More »
Rasputin, one of the most fascinating and controversial figures of the twentieth century, has remained cloaked in the myth of his own devising since his extraordinary ascent to power in the court of Nicholas and Alexandra, the last tsar and tsarina of Russia. Until now. Edvard Radzinsky, the author of the international bestsellerThe Last Tsar, had long been frustrated by the meager explanations of the malign authority of Grigory Efimovich Rasputin, a Russian peasant, semiliterate monk, and mystic, in the last Romanov court. Then, in 1995, a file from the State Archives that had been missing for years came up for auction at Sotheby's, and was put in Radzinsky's hands. It contained the interrogations of Rasputin's inner circle of admirers and those who kept him under police surveillance--documents never seen by any other historian. With this file, Radzinsky is able to transform the biography of Rasputin from mysterious legend into fact. Using the depositions of Rasputin's friends, teachers, devotees, and fanatical female fans--the people who watched Rasputin nearly every day--Radzinsky presents a fascinating account of how Rasputin exercised and enlarged his power. Radzinsky reveals the full extent of Rasputin's charged relationship with the tsarina, and chronicles Rasputin's famous sexual odyssey through the demimonde of St. Petersburg, using the debauched women's own astonishingly frank testimony to uncover a trove of surprising secrets. Here is documented, for the first time, the way in which Rasputin actually gained access to the tsarist court, and the true identity of the man who shot and killed Rasputin in 1916. And finally, the author is able to provide the real reasons behind Rasputin's sway in virtually every imperial decision at the end of Russia's royal Romanov dynasty. Through his exclusive access to the Rasputin File, his own unrivaled research into other resources, and his proven talent for dramatic storytelling, Radzinsky is finally able to tell the complete, sensational story of Rasputin, fully documented and definitive. Edvard Radzinsky's fascination with Rasputin grew as he was writing The Last Tsar, but until he could penetrate the mystery he would not proceed. And then, miraculously, the documents long missing from the KGB files surfaced, finally enabling him to tell the story of the man who held such a hypnotic influence over the last Russian Tsar and Tsarina, and ultimately determined the fate of his country. Based on Radzinsky's persistent scholarship and enlivened by his superb flair for the dramatic, THE RASPUTIN FILE is a mesmerizing account of the man and brings a new understanding to the nature of Rasputin's power. -->« Less
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