Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy

Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy

Hardback

By (author) Douglas Smith

Currently unavailable
We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist
OR try AbeBooks who may have this title (opens in new window)

Try AbeBooks

Additional formats available

Format
Paperback $15.24
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 464 pages
  • Dimensions: 163mm x 231mm x 43mm | 794g
  • Publication date: 2 October 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0374157618
  • ISBN 13: 9780374157616
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, maps, black & white plates
  • Sales rank: 138,271

Product description

Epic in scope, precise in detail, and heart-breaking in its human drama, "Former People "is the first book to recount the history of the aristocracy caught up in the maelstrom of the Bolshevik Revolution and the creation of Stalin's Russia. Filled with chilling tales of looted palaces and burning estates, of desperate flights in the night from marauding peasants and Red Army soldiers, of imprisonment, exile, and execution, it is the story of how a centuries'-old elite, famous for its glittering wealth, its service to the Tsar and Empire, and its promotion of the arts and culture, was dispossessed and destroyed along with the rest of old Russia.Yet "Former People "is also a story of survival and accommodation, of how many of the tsarist ruling class--so-called "former people" and "class enemies"--overcame the psychological wounds inflicted by the loss of their world and decades of repression as they struggled to find a place for themselves and their families in the new, hostile order of the Soviet Union. Chronicling the fate of two great aristocratic families--the Sheremetevs and the Golitsyns--it reveals how even in the darkest depths of the terror, daily life went on. Told with sensitivity and nuance by acclaimed historian Douglas Smith, "Former People "is the dramatic portrait of two of Russia's most powerful aristocratic families, and a sweeping account of their homeland in violent transition.

Other people who viewed this bought:

Showing items 1 to 10 of 10

Other books in this category

Showing items 1 to 11 of 11
Categories:

Author information

Douglas Smith is an award-winning historian and translator and the author of three previous books on Russia. Before becoming a historian, he worked for the U. S. State Department in the Soviet Union and as a Russian affairs analyst for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich. He lives in Seattle with his wife and two children.

Review quote

"Absorbing . . . How could one ever think that these people were monsters? They were gallant souls; and Smith's book memorialises them beautifully."--Mark Le Fanu, "Spear's" "Smith re-creates what [the Russian nobility] experienced with an intimacy that brings the whole history of these years vividly and grotesquely alive."--Robert Legvold, "Foreign Affairs" "Smith has performed a real service in drawing attention to this widely overlooked segment of the Russian population and the horrifying persecutions its members endured. His book inspires awe and pity in equal measure, and expands our understanding of a forgotten people. It's hard to believe that this it he first book of its kind devoted to the 10 percent of White Russians who remained in the society Union after the revolution and civil war and we can hope it will lead to others."--Michael Scammell, "The New York Review of Books""With urgency and precision, [Smith] chronicles the fate of the nobility from the dawn of the revolution . . . He is invested in their (former) cause, and narrates the events of their lives with passion . . . "Former People "is a thorough, extensively sourced history, and also something of a spiritual restitution."--Yelena Akhtiorskaya, "The New Republic""Although many of the aristocrats thought the end of their caste 'obvious and unavoidable, ' few foresaw the destruction of a way of life. Smith's engaging and, at times, heartbreaking account is an essential record of that loss."--"The New Yorker"""Former People" is ultimately an incredibly readable, vivid, emotional human story of survival, accommodation, and reconciliation."--Sean Guillory, "New Books Network""Engrossing . . . with richly detailed event and anecdote."--Liesl Schillinger, "The New York Times""An engaging and absorbing book."--Jennifer Siegel, "The Wall Street Journal""A remarkable, deeply affecting book."--David Walton, GuideLive"Smith examines the much-neglected 'fate of the nobilit