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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Book Reviews

Hughes, Lindsey. Peter the Great: A Biography. Yale.

Journal of Modern History: “Peter the Great is overdue for a new biography. Writing with considerable elegance and verve, Hughes has produced a highly accessible account of the life of Russia’s most important monarch in a critical time of political and cultural change. What Hughes does not do is to offer new insight into the larger causes, means, and significance of Peter’s reign and its core, his reforms.” History: Review of New Books: “Peter Romanov has long deserved a balanced and thorough examination for the general public. Hughes has now filled the vacuum. The book clearly surpasses the good recent biographies as well as the older portrait by Massie. It will become a standard adoption for university courses, and will also engage general readers. Serious students, however, should consult Hughes’s earlier study that sets Peter more broadly and firmly in his times.” Library Journal: “To shorten her 1998 tome, Hughes has eliminated intriguing background material and long transitions between salient points. The result is a series of rather choppy, fact-filled chapters and subsections. The book is interesting, but as it lacks the context provided by the full version, the reader would need to be a Russian history buff or to have an academic background in the subject to enjoy the fast-moving monolog.” Booklist: “Reliable, able.” Contemporary Review: “By constantly relating the story of this highly relevant historical figure to the consequences of his acts Prof. Hughes has given us, if not the definitive biography of Peter the Great, at least the best one available today.” Publishers Weekly: “Accessible and scholarly. This book will likely become a standard for scholars and students who want a short but comprehensive account.” Kirkus: “Impeccable scholarship, though it lacks Petrine panache.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Petrine panache?


4:57 PM  

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