The Romanovs The Final Chapter Author:Robert K. Massie From Booklist — When Robert Massie wrote Nicholas and Alexandra in 1967, he could never have dreamt that, in his lifetime, there would be answers to the many questions surrounding the deaths of the Romanovs. But with the fall of the Soviet government and the help of modern medical technology, such as DNA matching, that final chapter is now able t... more »o be written. Unfortunately, as with so many things, the mystery of the unresolved questions holds more fascination than the reality of the definitive answers. Not that there isn't plenty of new news here. Massie answers several big questions: how the Romanovs died and how their bodies were eventually identified; whether the woman known as Anna Anderson was in fact the grand duchess Anastasia, youngest daughter of the czar; and who, among several pretenders, would inherit the throne if the Russian people decide to restore the monarchy. The discussion of this last topic is particularly arcane, full of the knotted strings of Romanovs that only the most dedicated royalist or an editor at Burke's Peerage would want to untangle. More interesting is the trail of bones unearthed at Ekaterinburg and how, using blood samples from Prince Philip of England (a cousin of the Romanovs) and others, identifications were finally made. Similar DNA tests were used to prove that Anna Anderson was not Anastasia but was in fact a Polish peasant. How she managed to pull off such a successful charade for so many years is one mystery that remains unsolved. Despite the book's regrettable dryness, the inquiring minds of royalty watchers will ensure demand.
From the Publisher
The lives of the Romanovs are utterly fascinating, and this book is the definitive authority on the scoop behind one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century. If you can catch one of the travelling exhibits featuring the Romanov's jewels or their books, I'd recommend it, and read this book first-- you'll appreciate the exhibits even more.
From the Inside Flap
In July 1991, nine skeletons were exhumed from a shallow mass grave near Ekaterinburg, Siberia, a few miles from the infamous cellar room where the last tsar and his family were murdered seventy-three years before.
But were these the Romanovs? And if these were their remains, where were the bones of the two younger members of the family supposedly murdered at the same time?
The Romanovs: The Final Chapter provides the answer, recounting the horrifying moments of slaughter, revealing the guilt and the cover-up by Lenin and his lieutenants, and then describing in dramatic, suspenseful detail the fascinating and ultimately successful efforts in post-Communist Russia to discover the truth.
This unique story, written almost as a detective thriller by Robert K. Massie, presents a colorful panorama of contemporary characters from the enterprising Russians who finally found the burial place; to the key dignitaries such as Secretary of State James Baker, Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Prince Philip, who each played a role; to the scientific experts that disputed the findings until the truth was revealed.
About the Author
Robert K. Massie was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and studied American history at Yale and Modern European history at Oxford, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. He was president of the Author's Guild from 1987 to 1991. His previous books include: Nicholas and Alexandra, Peter the Great, Journey, and Dreadnought.
The fate of the last Russian Czar and his family has been one of the most fascinating mysteries of this century. Massie's work presents, not only the last days and ultimate fate of the Romanovs, but also the political and academic bickering over their remains. There's also a long section on the false Anastasia, the late Anna Anderson. O'Keefe's reading is very well done. His training and experience as an opera singer give him excellent diction and enunciation. He keeps the listener's attention with his pacing and inflection, making an already fascinating tale even more so. Especially poignant is his reading of the last days of the imperial family.« less