Robert K. Massie (Nicholas and Alexandra, Peter the Great, The Romanovs) has brought a very engaging portrait of Catherine the Great to readers. Massie relates the story of a German German princess who comes to rule Russia. Readers benefit from Massie’s ability as a writer and his broad knowledge of Russian history and life. I would suggest that Catherine the Great is not a biography per se, but a book that retells Catherine’s life story and places it in a broader context. He introduces characters pivotal in her live into the narrative, and biographically tells their stories as well. That did not trouble me. Readers who want more detail about Catherine in particular might be disappointed. Conversely, the details Massie provides certainly help readers to understand her life in context. A very good book. Entertaining. Reading of Mark Deakins is very good.
I loved this book! It made the history of Russia come alive for me.
I liked the balanced portrait of this powerful woman. The author did a commendable job of explaining Catherine's motivation and her triumphs and defeats. Overall it was a thorough overview of her life. I would have liked just a bit more on her relationship with Paul.
The reader was wonderful, the telling of this historic character's rise to
power enthralling. The complexity was not overwhelming because of reminders of what we'd heard before and the dominance of certain characters stood out over events
Would definitely recommend this book even if I wasn't a Russian history buff. The narration is easy to listen to and the story is drawn from many perspectives. I can't wait to read more from Massie!
This is history I never learned in school, a fascinating period in European and Russian history. Catherine and her story are remarkable by any standards and this telling captures the drama.
He can pronounce and distinguish the daunting Russian names.
Really enjoyable, unfortunately it starts to get a little tedious once Catherine's personal accounts (through her memoirs) stop. I have not read anything else about her so I'm not sure how this material differs from others, but it was always interesting and painted a lovely portrait of her character and life.