The Last of the Tsars: Nicholas II and the Russian Revolution


Book Information

  • ISBN: 9781447293095
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pub Date: 28/02/2017
  • Category: Humanities / Russian Revolution
    Humanities / History: specific events & topics
  • Imprint: Macmillan
  • Pages: 496
  • Price: $49.99

A riveting account of the last eighteen months of Tsar Nicholas II's life and reign from one of our finest historians of Russia.

In March 1917, Nicholas II, the last Tsar of All the Russias, abdicated and the dynasty that had ruled an empire for three hundred years was forced from power by revolution. Now, on the hundredth anniversary of that revolution, Robert Service, the eminent historian of Russia, examines Nicholas's reign in the year before his abdication and the months between that momentous date and his death, with his family, in Ekaterinburg in July 1918.

The story has been told many times, but Service's profound understanding of the period and his forensic examination of hitherto untapped sources, including the Tsar's diaries and recorded conversations, shed remarkable new light on his reign, also revealing the kind of ruler Nicholas believed himself to have been, contrary to the disastrous reality.

The Last of the Tsars is a masterful study of a man who was almost entirely out of his depth, perhaps even willfully so. It is also a compelling account of the social, economic and political foment in Russia in the aftermath of Alexander Kerensky's February Revolution, the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917 and the beginnings of Lenin's Soviet republic.


"A magisterial account of a turning point in modern history, whose intellectual rigour and robustness make it unlikely to be bettered" Spectator on The End of the Cold War

"Service's cast list of journalists, diplomats, agents and their lovers is a joy . . . a winning combination of scholarship, narrative drive and detail" Observer on Spies and Commissars

"Seldom has the pathology of the revolutionary type, and its murderous consequences, been more mercilessly exposed than in this exemplary biography" Sunday Times on Trotsky: A Biography

Author Information

Robert Service is a Fellow of the British Academy and of St Antony's College, Oxford. He has written several books, including the highly acclaimed Lenin: A Biography, Russia: Experiment with a People, Stalin: A Biography andComrades: A History of World Communism, as well as many other books on Russia's past and present. His bookTrotsky: A Biography was awarded the 2009 Duff Cooper Prize. Married with four children, he lives in London.