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Rasputin: The Untold Story

An entirely original account of the life of Gregory Rasputin that goes beyond legend, myth and misunderstanding to reveal the tragedy of the peasant who befriended the tsar and the empress, healed their son, and helped to bring down the Russian Empire. In Fuhrmann's skilled hands, Rasputin becomes a vital and exciting human being, not just a symbol of dissolution and sexual excess. The author considers a number of fundamental questions: How did Rasputin heal the Tsarevich's bouts of haemophilia? What were his mysterious religious teachings? How great was his power in the Russian state? What was the secret of his appeal to women? Were foreign agents involved in his murder? Fuhrmann also lays to rest an old question that still fascinates many people: Does Rasputin's murder suggest that his mystical powers included some mysterious ability to resist death? No one intrigued by the last years of Imperial Russia will want to miss this book. "This vivid, briskly written biography brings to life one of the most colorful and sinister figures in modern Russian history." Publishers Weekly "A vivid if not lurid portrayal." Boston Globe "Extremely well written, concise, and as promised in the foreword, he leaves the reader to draw their own conclusions." Alexander Palace Forum"
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About the Author

JOSEPH T. FUHRMANN, Emeritus Professor of History at Murray State University, carried out graduate work at Indiana and Moscow Universities. His first biography of Rasputin (1989) was well received, but Soviet archives were closed to foreign scholars working on such topics at that time. This book, Rasputin - The Untold Story, is based upon full access to Russian and Siberian archives. Fuhrmann also edited the Complete Wartime Correspondence of Tsar Nicholas II and the Empress Alexandra (1999). He is currently writing a biography of Nicholas II.


* Using material from newly opened Soviet archives, particularly the correspondence of Czar Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra, Fuhrmann, an emeritus professor of history at Murray State University in Kentucky, extends the range of his Rasputin: A Life (1990). He shows how an obscure Russian Orthodox monk became a close adviser to the czar and czarina, particularly after he predicted the recovery of their son, Alexis, from a possibly fatal illness in 1909. Alexandra turned to him for advice on Russia's WWI military campaign, and he influenced the appointment of high officials. This outsize influence, and rumors that Rasputin was pro-German, impelled a cabal of members of the nobility to assassinate him in December 1916. Fuhrman provides graphic details of the murder and weighs the evidence that the British Secret Intelligence Service participated in the plot. Fuhrmann draws a complex portrait of a dissolute alcoholic figure who allegedly raped at least one woman, yet he was seen by his many followers as a starets (charismatic holy man). Fuhrmann does not provide a final appraisal of Rasputin's significance in the immediate prerevolution period. Still, this vivid, briskly written biography brings to life one of the most colorful and sinister figures in modern Russian history. Illus. Agent: Andrew Lownie, Andrew Lownie Literary Agency. (Nov.) ("Publishers Weekly", August 2012)

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