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When I read a book I carry it around with me everywhere, that is the only way I can ever finish them. Walking into the elevator at work carrying this book someone looked and it and remarked: “Rasputin, the mad monk of Russia.” I just smiled at him, I was far enough in the book to realize what Joseph Fuhrmann said at the beginning of this book, Rasputin wasn’t a monk and he wasn’t mad. He is a fascinating historical figure, he is also complicated, unsavory, ambitious, manipulative, partially responsible for the end of the Russian Empire and in the end murdered.
Much of the information in this book is taken from previously closed Soviet archives and contains new information and pictures of Rasputin and others of the time. There are police reports and personal letters included. Mr. Fuhrmann is careful to keep the facts straight and explains when there are discrepancies between the official record and personal accounts, he will make a statement and report why he feels that is so. This is a very detailed account and while not boring, I found I could not really get into it, I had a lot of trouble finishing it. I gave it the rating I did because I found it informative and interesting even though I had trouble sticking with it.
In conclusion I would say that if you are really into Russian history or Rasputin and the Romanovs you might enjoy this book.