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Catherine The Great and the Expansion of Russia
Catherine The Great and the Expansion of Russia Author:Gladys Scott Thomson Catherine the Great and the Expansion of Russia, by British historian Gladys Scott Thomson, is the kind of book that you would buy at a flea market or a library paperback sale. This is not to the book's detriment, but you would never find this handy biography in a Barnes and Noble or Borders, because it would be out of place alongside the new be... more »stsellers in their shiny dust jackets.
First published in 1940 by the Macmillan Company, then again in 1962 by Collier Books, Catherine the Great offers a good overview of the reign of one of Russia's most well-known rulers, and is likely to leave the reader with a profound respect for Catherine. The latter may be tempered by the fact that Thomson all but exonerates Catherine from complicity in several dark doings, among them the murder of her estranged husband, Peter III. That Catherine actively participated in the coup against Peter Thomson does not dispute, but implies that the new empress was actually shocked to learn of her husband's untimely demise. In Chapter 7, which deals with a rebellion by a Cossack named Pugachev, Thomson writes that upon the rebel leader's capture, the empress refused to allow him to be tortured. He was, however, dragged back to Saint Petersburg in a cage and probably subjected to deplorable prison conditions before being executed.« less