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The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia (2014)

par Candace Fleming

MembresCritiquesPopularitéÉvaluation moyenneMentions
6714733,848 (4.16)21
Biography & Autobiography. History. Politics. Young Adult Nonfiction. HTML:??[A] superb history.... In these thrilling, highly readable pages, we meet Rasputin, the shaggy, lecherous mystic...; we visit the gilded ballrooms of the doomed aristocracy; and we pause in the sickroom of little Alexei, the hemophiliac heir who, with his parents and four sisters, would be murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918.? ??The Wall Street Journal
 
Here is the tumultuous, heartrending, true story of the Romanovs??at once an intimate portrait of Russia's last royal family and a gripping account of its undoing. Using captivating photos and compelling first person accounts, award-winning author Candace Fleming (Amelia Lost; The Lincolns) deftly maneuvers between the imperial family??s extravagant lives and the plight of Russia's poor masses, making this an utterly mesmerizing read as well as a perfect resource for meeting Common Core standards.

"An exhilarating narrative history of a doomed and clueless family and empire." ??Jim Murphy, author of Newbery Honor Books An American Plague and The Great Fire

"For readers who regard history as dull, Fleming??s extraordinary book is proof positive that, on the contrary, it is endlessly fascinating, absorbing as any novel, and the stuff of an altogether memorable reading experience." ??Booklist, Starred

"Marrying the intimate family portrait of Heiligman??s Charles and Emma with the politics and intrigue of Sheinkin??s Bomb, Fleming has outdone herself with this riveting work of narrative nonfiction that appeals to the imagination as much as the intellect." ??The Horn Book, Starred

Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature
Winner of the Boston Globe??Horn Book Award for Nonfiction
A Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
A YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award Finalist 
Winner of the Orbis Pict
… (plus d'informations)
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The murder of the Romanov family is surely a complex and still contentious topic. While I agree that Candace Fleming's The Family Romanov gives teens (the books target audience) a decent understanding of a very complex era and provides a lot of food for thought about the causes and effects of important individuals, societal attitudes, and the Russian revolution, as a student of history and as an Eastern Orthodox Christian, I found this book to be a little troubling. There are flaws to Fleming's scholarship and to her approach to the topic. While I applaud Fleming's idea to weave three stories into one ( 1. A story of the intimate lives of the Romanov family itself 2. A description of the events from the worker strikes of 1905 until Vladimir Lenin took power in 1917 3. An observation of the life of the average man/ a peasant at the turn of the 20th century and how it contrasted with the lives of the very wealthy, particularly the Tsar and his extended family), I was bothered to see how this narrative served to almost validate the cause of the communists. Lenin was not the glorious revolutionary who came back to help his people and end the war abroad and at home out of necessity. He was power hungry. And the Romanovs were not clueless, rich idiots. Now, Fleming weaves the threads together to provoke discussion and thought regarding what is right and wrong. And surely this book could be used to ignite a decent debate about morality in a political science high school class. However....

I personally have a hard time endorsing Fleming's book for a few reasons. One of the major flaws is that she took some creative liberties and seemed to craft a few thoughts, decisions, conversations of the historical characters that could not be verified. When quotations are used we don't know where the source is directly coming from. This really bothers me! It is just poor scholarship and it honestly makes it read like a work of fiction. It really reads as a made-up story that presents the Russian Royal Family as mere idiots, which honestly, is just insulting.

Which brings me to....Robert K. Massie. The annoying popular historian who wrote the ever-popular Nicholas and Alexandra, whose work influenced The Family Romanov immensely. Fleming trusted a poor scholar for her scholarship as well. Massie also took liberties with the personal portrayals of the Romanovs. And brings a very Western mindset to his interpretation of Russian history. Flemings interpretation is very Western as well.

Eastern Orthodoxy, the Christian faith of the Ramanovs and millions around the world, is misinterpreted by Fleming as well as focusing merely on strange and mystical encounters and miraculous healings. The miraculous does indeed happen and yet I can assure you that the Orthodox Church is not as "foreign" as Fleming makes it sound. It is not a superstitious religion (as Fleming made the mindset of the royalty out to be).I wish this book took the faith of the Ramanovs into account and really treated their faith with more respect. Their devotion to God is so inspiring which brings me to....

Their martyrdom. I believe the Ramonovs are saints (note: this does not mean I endorse monarchist regimes). I also believe Lenin is clearly to blame for the death of the family, since he later endorsed the shooting and did not punish the killers. I'm glad Fleming acknowledged their sainthood, even if there was a debate about what level of sanctity they should be granted. And here is the thing about martyred saints: they strived to the very end to love God, even if they were flawed individuals. Czar Nicholas may not have been the most effective ruler but at least he lead his country in fear and trembling. He might have made wrong decisions but he did so prayerfully and with the help of trusted aides. Can you say that about Lenin or Stalin? No. How many died under Stalin again?

It's an okay book. Fleming can craft a readable (yet historically questionable) narrative. Just read it with a grain of salt. ( )
  ryantlaferney87 | Dec 8, 2023 |
I'm puzzling over why I didn't like this book better. It was well-written and delved into parts of history, both Russian and abroad, that are rarely touched in when discussing the family Romanov (blatantly calls out the Romanovs for oh, everything they did, especially their anti-Semitism), which I greatly appreciated. The style was engrossing, and I would happily sit all day and read the author's descriptions of royal living quarters and fashions. I think part of my reaction was, I wanted more new information than I got. (Why? I got plenty. It just feels like a few puzzle pieces were missing. I am so glad I read this, though, and I am going to check out other things the author has written. Her name seems really familiar. I perused her website and nothing looks familiar, but I'm suddenly convinced I've read something else of hers before, and liked it. Off to search more.) Redirecting to this book: this is a fantastic starting point for Romanov history. Highly recommended to those who are interested. ( )
  iszevthere | Jun 22, 2022 |
This is an excellent, balanced, middle grade - ya history. I love the writing: clear, concise and very engaging. I love that a wide variety of viewpoints are represented. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
Candace Fleming's The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia is a compelling narrative nonfiction novel that reads like a mystery. Beginning with the Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, inheriting the throne in 1894, Fleming unfolds the 'story' of the Russian Revolution.

Fleming skillfully switches between telling the flittering, opulent and out of touch story of the Russian aristocracy and the tsar side by side with the true story of Russia's suffering, struggling peasants who made up 85% of the population. Maps, graphs, and diagrams along with primary source documents are woven throughout, supporting and deepening student understanding.

**Orbis Pictus Award Winner, Sibert Award Winner ( )
  NClegern | Jul 27, 2021 |
This biography of Nicholas II and family tells the story of ruling Russia during a time of unrest and their mysterious murder. The story of the Romanovs is contrasted with primary sources from peasants and revolutionaries. Bibliography, Online Resources, Notes, Index.
  NCSS | Jul 23, 2021 |
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Biography & Autobiography. History. Politics. Young Adult Nonfiction. HTML:??[A] superb history.... In these thrilling, highly readable pages, we meet Rasputin, the shaggy, lecherous mystic...; we visit the gilded ballrooms of the doomed aristocracy; and we pause in the sickroom of little Alexei, the hemophiliac heir who, with his parents and four sisters, would be murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918.? ??The Wall Street Journal
 
Here is the tumultuous, heartrending, true story of the Romanovs??at once an intimate portrait of Russia's last royal family and a gripping account of its undoing. Using captivating photos and compelling first person accounts, award-winning author Candace Fleming (Amelia Lost; The Lincolns) deftly maneuvers between the imperial family??s extravagant lives and the plight of Russia's poor masses, making this an utterly mesmerizing read as well as a perfect resource for meeting Common Core standards.

"An exhilarating narrative history of a doomed and clueless family and empire." ??Jim Murphy, author of Newbery Honor Books An American Plague and The Great Fire

"For readers who regard history as dull, Fleming??s extraordinary book is proof positive that, on the contrary, it is endlessly fascinating, absorbing as any novel, and the stuff of an altogether memorable reading experience." ??Booklist, Starred

"Marrying the intimate family portrait of Heiligman??s Charles and Emma with the politics and intrigue of Sheinkin??s Bomb, Fleming has outdone herself with this riveting work of narrative nonfiction that appeals to the imagination as much as the intellect." ??The Horn Book, Starred

Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature
Winner of the Boston Globe??Horn Book Award for Nonfiction
A Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
A YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award Finalist 
Winner of the Orbis Pict

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