The Empire Must Die

The Empire Must Die : Russia's Revolutionary Collapse, 1900-1917

4.46 (1,569 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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The Empire Must Die portrays the vivid drama of Russia's brief and exotic experiment with civil society before it was swept away by the despotism of the Communist Revolution. The window between two equally stifling autocracies - the imperial family and the communists - was open only briefly, in the last couple of years of the 19th century until the end of WWI, by which time the revolution was in full fury.

From the last years of Tolstoy until the death of the Tsar and his family, however, Russia experimented with liberalism and cultural openness. In Europe, the Ballet Russe was the height of chic. Novelists and playwrights blossomed, political ideas were swapped in coffee houses and St Petersburg felt briefly like Vienna or Paris. The state, however couldn't tolerate such experimentation against the backdrop of a catastrophic war and a failing economy. The autocrats moved in and the liberals were overwhelmed. This story seems to have strangely prescient echoes of the present.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 608 pages
  • 243 x 165 x 43mm | 832g
  • London, United States
  • English
  • 1610398319
  • 9781610398312
  • 39,577

Review quote

Zygar has written a riveting account....A vivid sense of real-time chaos, confusion, and the multitude of ideas for bringing Russia into the 20th century is well documented in a readable journalistic manner.... This lively depiction of prerevolutionary and revolutionary Russia will interest both readers with little background who are curious to learn about this pivotal historical time and those who would like a fresh perspective.--Library Journal
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About Mikhail Zygar

Mikhail Zygar is the former editor in chief of the only independent TV station in Russia, TV Rain (Dozhd). Previously, he worked for Newsweek Russia and the business daily Kommersant. Zygar was awarded the 2014 International Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
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Rating details

1,569 ratings
4.46 out of 5 stars
5 59% (928)
4 30% (474)
3 8% (126)
2 2% (35)
1 0% (6)
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