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The Empire Must Die

Nonfiction: History
Unabridged   22 hour(s)
Publication date: 11/07/2017

Kirkus Best of 2017

The Empire Must Die

Russia's Revolutionary Collapse, 1900 - 1917

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781681688817
Digital Download ISBN:9781681688824


The Empire Must Die portrays the vivid drama of Russia's brief and exotic experiment with civil society before it was swept away by the despotism of the Communist Revolution.

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Product Description

The window between two equally stifling autocracies—the imperial family and the communists—was open only briefly, in the last couple of years of the 19th century until the end of WWI, by which time the revolution was in full fury.

From the last years of Tolstoy until the death of the Tsar and his family, however, Russia experimented with liberalism and cultural openness. In Europe, the Ballet Russe was the height of chic. Novelists and playwrights blossomed, political ideas were swapped in coffee houses and St. Petersburg felt briefly like Vienna or Paris. The state, however couldn't tolerate such experimentation against the backdrop of a catastrophic war and a failing economy. The autocrats moved in and the liberals were overwhelmed. This story seems to have strangely prescient echoes of the present.


"A vivid, character-driven reconstruction of the period leading up to the overthrow of the Romanovs and the birth of modern Russia... the author commands a powerful depth of historical knowledge and a novelist's knack for sorting through the details... endlessly fascinating." ―Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"A tale of Russian politics based on personalities, ego and ambition, rather than policy, convictions or ideology . . . The stream of court intrigue gives All the Kremlin's Men the juicy allure of a Russian thriller." —The Economist

"Of the many accounts written about the Russian president, Mikhail Zygar's insider's guide to his court is one of the most compelling . . . The book charts not just the machinations of the various players . . . It also acutely traces the evolution of Putin's mind." —The Guardian

Author Bio

Mikhail Zygar is the former editor in chief of the only independent TV station in Russia, TV Rain (Dozhd). Previously, he worked for Newsweek Russia and the business daily Kommersant. Zygar was awarded the 2014 International Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists.