Catherine the Great

Catherine the Great❮KINDLE❯ ❆ Catherine the Great Author Ian Grey – Catherine II of Russia was the most remarkable monarch of the eighteenth century New York Times bestselling historian Ian Grey paints an illuminating portrait of an enigmatic woman of compelling charm Catherine II of Russia was the most remarkable monarch of the eighteenth century New York Times bestselling historian Ian Grey Catherine the Kindle - paints an illuminating portrait of an enigmatic woman of compelling charm and elegance She had a prodigious appetite for work great curiosity and boundless ambition and vanity and she was notorious for the number of her lovers Her prodigal expenditures and patronage of the arts made her reign an era of splendor while her foreign policy and conuests carried Russian power and prestige to new heights She cast a spell over most of her contemporaries in Russia and in Western Europe and the spell has lingered Here in this book is the dramatic story of an obscure German princess without beauty or special advantage but with courage charisma and determination who became one of the arbiters of the affairs of Europe and renowned in history. Let me take Grey to task over how he shows Catharine’s love life First she was not “oversexed” Second the variety of lovers was to protect her position than for boredom Third how many male leaders of the time had such freedom to love or f€k who they wanted? Bringing stereotypical old fashioned ideas of female sexuality to a biography of one of the world’s most powerful women will undermine all other points made My tenth book completed during uarantine wow I can’t wait till things get back to normal I enjoyed this historical biography so much I’ve always had a deep fascination with Russia and their cultures but reading this book about Catherine The Great has only whet my appetite for me Thankfully this book left out most of the tawdry scandal that was attached to Catherine and truly focused in on why she was considered “Catherine The Great” As a woman she was a monarch to be feared and respected and never let anything stand in her way If you like historical in depth readings on powerful women in history this is the perfect book for you Clearly written The author presented a description of Catherine's personal life without getting bogged down in salacious details She was a paradox that defines any simple description but he manages to give a balanced view of her reign As he pointed out her reign made the Russian revolution inevitable June Kimball GoodreadsAt times it felt like a summary of events with a lot to digest Kindle version would have benefitted greatly with maps of 18th century Russia and Europe It would have made it easier to follow The best biography of Empress Catherine I've yet read and I've read 4 this year in its balance of thoroughness and brevity Grey does a good job of avoiding the biographer's trap of trying to shoehorn in every amusing anecdote and sticks to the meat and potatoes as it were focusing less on Catherine's personal life and far on her record as a statesman stateswoman?Two things make this book stand out One is the fact that the author makes no attempt to try and give a comprehensive list of the neverending parade of favorites Ermolov and Lanskoy are not mentioned once and Zavadovsky and Mamonov get only passing mentions There is an implication that the author considered the task of organizing the men in Catherine's life to be an undertaking too immense for his book and he seems content to state that after Potemkin there were many others but few meant anythingThe other thing that stands out is that the author seems unimpressed by Catherine's performance as empress and this is what makes the book uniue Others who criticize Catherine such as Henri Troyat do so on moral grounds either for her sex life or for the fact that she never uite got around to answering the Serfdom Issue But Grey openly declares his disapproval for Catherine's restructuring of Russia's alliances which he blames for both Russo Turkish wars and regularly contrasts Catherine's reforms which he portrays as being rather superficial against those of Peter the GreatI'm not sure I agree with all of the points the author makes but it makes a delightful companion volume on the shelf next to Virginia Rounding's biography of Catherine subtitled Love Sex and Power Between this one and that one a reader can get a decently holistic view of how Catherine's life as an 18th century noblewoman and her life as the autocrat of Russia intertwined and the contrast of Grey's possibly overblown cynicism with Rounding's sometimes a bit too flowery praise makes a good both sides of the issue view Catherine the GreatIt ls hard to believe that this insignificant young German princess had it in her to continue and even surpass Peter the Great A woman at a time when only few women would have the chance to emancipate themselves She made Russia into a GREAT country through diplomacy or wars she added lands she obliterated Poland toward the end of her life Shocked by the French revolution she even used repressive methods against the few who dared to talk about liberalism She who had been greatly admired across Europe found an end to her life that I did not expect a stroke She must not have expected that her end was near she had not made provisions for an heir she loved and trusted She had planned a future for her grandson foregoing her son But this maybe her last wish did not happen The book portrays both the negative and positive aspects of her reign She is called the great because of her diplomatic and military successes However she pretended to liberalize the institution of serfdom while absolving the nobles of responsibility and making the every day life of serfs harder This eventually led to the Russian revolution Excellent read Easy to digest the history and absorb the character of CatherineI'm not one for biographical books but this one compelled me to pick it up and continue A good book on the topic for those aspire to know much and have little timeThe book is interesting enough though far from being a academic work and it’s hard to tell how accurate the facts are It does’nt pretend to be academic of course so no reproach to the author On the positive side the book is short BIG advantage in this case and readable I uite enjoyed it and certainly have a much better understanding and knowledge of Catherine the Great and her times I enjoyed this book about Catherine's life since I did not know much about her I had visited her palace in Russia several years ago and it was beautiful She was beloved by the Russian people and she was very political savvy Catherine was a strong intelligent woman who made it her business to be self educated