Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy
Epic in scope, precise in detail, and heart-breaking in its human drama, Former People is the first book to recount the history of the aristocracy caught up in the maelstrom of the Bolshevik Revolution and the creation of Stalin’s Russia. Filled with chilling tales of looted palaces and burning estates, of desperate flights in the night from marauding peasants and Red Army soldiers, of imprisonment, exile, and execution, it is the story of how a centuries’-old elite, famous for its glittering wealth, its service to the Tsar and Empire, and its promotion of the arts and culture, was dispossessed and destroyed along with the rest of old Russia.
Yet Former People is also a story of survival and accommodation, of how many of the tsarist ruling class—so-called “former people” and “class enemies”—overcame the psychological wounds inflicted by the loss of their world and decades of repression as they struggled to find a place for themselves and their families in the new, hostile order of the Soviet Union. Chronicling the fate of two great aristocratic families—the Sheremetevs and the Golitsyns—it reveals how even in the darkest depths of the terror, daily life went on.
Told with sensitivity and nuance by acclaimed historian Douglas Smith, Former People is the dramatic portrait of two of Russia’s most powerful aristocratic families, and a sweeping account of their homeland in violent transition.
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Review: Former People: The Final Days of the Russian AristocracyUser Review - Kristi Thielen - Goodreads
If only the Russian revolutionaries had been kind to the Russian aristocrats. If only they'd given them a certain period of time in which to leave Russia forever - with nothing but the clothes on ... Read full review
Review: Former People: The Last Days of the Russian Aristocracy. by Douglas SmithUser Review - Eastbelt - Goodreads
This fine, well-researched book looks at the fate of the Russian aristocracy under Communist rule, from the perspective of two of the Russian nobility's oldest and most prestigious families: the ... Read full review
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