Friday, March 22, 2013

Heads up! Out in September The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

I know this book will be very, very good ... just sayin'   Greg King is one of the best royal writers writing today ... and Sue Woolmans is very passionate about this topic!  St. Martin's Press will publish the book in September.  The British publisher is Pan Macmillan, which will also release the book in September.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Other Grand Dukes

Hurrah!  Hurrah!   After several years (five perhaps) of waiting ... and waiting,  The Other Grand Dukes is finally available.

This is the second of two volumes of mini biographies on the Russian Grand Dukes.

The first book, The Grand Dukes (published in 2010), covered the sons of the Emperors.  This book focuses on the sons and grandsons of the Grand Dukes. 

It would be unprofessional .. and improper ... to review this book because I wrote one of the chapters:  Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich.

I have to say, however, the chapters were all written by terrific writers and royal experts:  Charles Stewart, Janet Ashton, Coryne Hall, Grant Hayter-Menzies, Penny Wilson, Ilana Miller, Greg King, Zoia Belyakova and Arturo Beeche.

The Other Grand Dukes was published by  The price is $43.95.

I won't get any royalties for copies sold, but if you click on the link here and purchase or go through my Amazon search box,  I will get a few pennies for
each  book sold.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ladies of Spain by Andrew Morton

Andrew Morton has written a new book, Ladies of Spain, which has been published in Spain ... and yes, in Spanish.  He wrote the book in English, and the Spanish publisher had the book translated into Spanish.  The book is about Queen Sofia, Infantas Elena and Cristina and the Princess of Asturias.

So far, the book has not been published in the original English. The Spanish edition can be purchased from Amazon's Kindle store.  I do not know if or when the book will be published in English. 


The Kindle stores are also offering in Spanish a biography on IƱaki Urdangarin.

These books are in Spanish only, and available in a Kindle edition, although there is also a hardcover Spanish book.

Here is the link to for the book.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Former People The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy by Douglas Smiith

The focus of the Russian Revolution usually leads us straight to the Ekaterinburg and the assassination of the Tsar and the murders of his family.  The Bolsheviks tried to eliminate nearly every member of the Imperial Family, but their real goal in establishing a new (and repressive) society was to destroy and eliminate the ruling classes: Russia's own aristocracy.

Douglas Smith's Former People The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy (Farrar, Straus and Giroux: $30.00) is a heart-rendering and passionate accounting of an entire class of people: the titled, wealthy landowners being wiped away largely through murder and exile.

Smith focuses on two families: Sheremetevs and the Golitsyns, although all of Russia's noble families were deeply affected by the wrath of the revolution.

At one moment, these families were at the center of Russia's art, culture and politics.  They were educated, they married well, and they were rich.  They also cared deeply about their country, and, at first, could not comprehend that their world was completely erased by the Soviets.   They became the "former people" or "class enemies" who were to be eradicated from the new Soviet Union.

This mean exile, poverty, imprisonment and death.  A small number of the these families were able to leave Russia, but most chose to stay, believing that their world would survive.  It didn't.  From inexplicable wealth to hunger,  the former people endured tragedy and terror. They learned to hide their fear, and trust for the new system -- and justice -- was non-existent. 

Several of the younger descendants embraced the growing power of the Soviet Union.  They were eager to show their pride in the new society's accomplishments, but it was all for naught.  Their world was brought to an end by an unjust and unfair system.  

Douglas Smith, a former State Department employee, is an analyst on Soviet history and politics.    The amount of painstakingly honest research is utterly outstanding.  Smith's bibliography is prodigious and breathtaking, especially as this is the first book to focus on the demise of Russia's princely families.

Former People is a must read, a truly definitive book that defines a standard for a serious,  well-researched history-cum-biography-cum social commentary.  This book should win a few awards.  It definitely a superb book that should be read ... one cannot fail to be drawn into the stories of truly proud people who were stripped of everything.