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A vivid and compelling account of the final thirteen days of the Romanovs, counting down to the last, tense hours of their lives. On 4 July 1918, a new commandant took control of a closely guarded house in the Russian town of Ekaterinburg. His name was Yakov Yurovsky, and his prisoners were the Imperial family: the former Tsar Nicholas, his wife Alexandra, and their children, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexey. Thirteen days later, at Yurovsky's command, and on direct orders from Moscow, the family was gunned down in a blaze of bullets in a basement room. This is the story of those murders, which ended 300 years of Romanov rule and began an era of state-orchestrated terror and brutal repression.
In 2007, Jean Wilson Hale and her husband, both civil engineers, journeyed to the other side of the world to manage a large construction project for ten months. Accompanied by The Magnificent Seven (their luggage), their two cats, and most importantly, their sense of humor, they traveled for twenty-five hours to reach their new home in Ekaterinburg, Russia (almost Siberia). Ten time zones from home, with neither of them speaking the language, they set up housekeeping in a new apartment, hired a driver, and embarked upon their adventure. Punctuated with laughter, they endeavored to learn a language which sort of looked like English, but was actually very different. The quest for food, without being able to read the labels or ask for help, is recounted with humor and some exasperation. Explaining American holidays and customs to their Russian friends became an exercise in absurdity why do children in the U.S. dress in costumes and go door to door threatening home owners with mischief if they aren't given candy, and what is a groundhog, anyway? Presented through a compilation of letters and emails sent home to family and friends, this is a delightful snapshot in time of two people living far, far from home.
Rappaport, an expert in the field of Russian history, brings you the riveting day-by-day account of the last fourteen days of the Russian Imperial family, in this first of two books about the Romanovs. Her second book The Romanov Sisters, offering a never-before-seen glimpse at the lives of the Tsar's beautiful daughters and a celebration of their unique stories, will be published in 2014. The brutal murder of the Russian Imperial family on the night of July 16–17, 1918 has long been a defining moment in world history. The Last Days of the Romanovs reveals in exceptional detail how the conspiracy to kill them unfolded. In the vivid style of a TV documentary, Helen Rappaport reveals both the atmosphere inside the family's claustrophobic prison and the political maneuverings of those who wished to save—or destroy—them. With the watching world and European monarchies proving incapable of saving the Romanovs, the narrative brings this tragic story to life in a compellingly new and dramatic way, culminating in a bloody night of horror in a cramped basement room.

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