Catherine the Great

Catherine the Great A superb biography Scholarly refreshing commonsensical and compelling vividly portraying the charismatic Empress and her times Simon Sebag Montefiore author of Sashenka Simon Dixon s Catherine th

  • Title: Catherine the Great
  • Author: Simon Dixon
  • ISBN: 9780060786274
  • Page: 236
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A superb biography.Scholarly, refreshing, commonsensical, and compelling, vividly portraying the charismatic Empress and her times Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Sashenka Simon Dixon s Catherine the Great is a complete and revealing portrait of an extraordinary leader, chronicling her rise to power and her remarkable reign as empress of Russia Catherine Merridale A superb biography.Scholarly, refreshing, commonsensical, and compelling, vividly portraying the charismatic Empress and her times Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Sashenka Simon Dixon s Catherine the Great is a complete and revealing portrait of an extraordinary leader, chronicling her rise to power and her remarkable reign as empress of Russia Catherine Merridale, author of Ivan s War, calls this definitive history, attractive, engaging, and very intelligent.Established fans of the Russian empress will find plenty of new material and those who are meeting her for the first time will be dazzled.

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      Published :2019-09-19T12:54:24+00:00

    About “Simon Dixon

    • Simon Dixon

      Simon Dixon is Sir Bernard Pares Professor of Russian History at University College London.

    545 thoughts on “Catherine the Great

    • Catherine the Great was the German born wife of Peter III. Peter was (the Ruler of Russia) The former ruler Empress Elizabeth’s handpicked successor. When Russia Nobles found Peter unacceptable they kidnapped and most likely assassinated him. He may have been killed in a struggle but in either event he was killed. The Nobles afterward quickly put Catherine in power she being the next in line of succession. What they found in Catherine was somewhat of a surprise. She was swept up in the Enlight [...]


    • This is the second biography I have read this spring about a Russian monarch, the other being Peter the Great. There is a kind of sameness to biographies of monarchs who have enjoyed long reigns -- as opposed to something like Tacitus's The Histories, about the Year of the Four Emperors in A.D. 69. The ruler comes to power, by fair means or foul, establishes himself or herself, issues numerous reforms, conducts several wars, weakens, dies, and is repudiated by his or her heirs. I think that is a [...]


    • Have to agree with the comments about this book being obsessed with physical details. He seemed to spend more pages on the credentials of the architect who build a palace that Catherine stayed in for a couple of months in her youth than on the reasons why a really minor German princess was invited to the Russian court as a prospective wife for the future Tsar. So many lists, so many roubles. I can understand that a historian many want to ground his work in facts and those sorts of facts are the [...]


    • I had wanted to know more about her politics and the changes she made, but I learned way too much about how many roubles she spent on what person and what building project. *sigh* It was a good start, though.


    • I was going to wait to get the Robert K. Massie bio of Catherine the Great from my library as my first introduction to her, but I saw this one for $3 at Half Price Books and thought I'd start here I really wish I had waited for the Massie book and saved myself this reading experience.I finished the whole thing and feel like I hardly know anything about Catherine or her life. What I do know a whole heck of a lot about is architecture and budgeting. Most of the book was spent discussing various pa [...]


    • Beautifull story of what happened in the Russia in the eighteenth century in he Royal Court where a German Princess came saw and conquered. She took over from her idiot of a husband of whom she was married, almost by force. He happened to become Tsar of Russia and she simply murdered him and took over the shop. And did it in a rather enlightened way. But not too much enlightened, because compared to Russian leaders nowadays, the current one looks rather angel like compared to her. Ofcourse she h [...]


    • A book for those who like courtly glitter, pagentry, discription of royal balls, flamboyant expositions of life in medieval courts and of course easy reading. It wasn't my cup of tea and I struggled to get to the data I needed to find but I have given it 3 stars for achieving what it set out to do. Its reasonably well researched too. If you are not trying to contextualize Catherine within the larger Russian or European political environment, and you do like entertaining historical reads, this is [...]


    • I'm a little disappointed in this book. I find the idea of Catherine the Great very fascinating but don't know much about her reign. This book really didn't give me much of a better sense about the monarch. It took some 120 pages before we even got to her reign, and then the book seemed more obsessed with all the buildings she had commissioned and how much everything cost.I'll kindly take any suggestions anyone has for more illuminating books about her rule.


    • It's a potentially fantastic biographyndered merely "good" by (1) a strange apologist tone for Catherine, making her seem positively genteel, considering the autocratic hold she held over Russia, and (2) an obsession with too much court & religious ceremonial detailwhich drove me to distraction numerous times.


    • This is the worst history book I've ever read, and considering the subject matter at hand, I'm not sure how is that even possible. Thanks to some really admirable lack of basic storytelling skills, and his utter misunderstanding of concept of being interesting, this guy Simon Dixon has somehow managed to tell an incoherent, boring, pointless, dry, shallow and outright stupid tale about one of the most fascinating characters and one of the greatest rulers in human history. And that really require [...]


    • In many important ways, the reflections of Marcus Aurelius (121-180) crystallize the philosophical wisdom of the Greco-Roman world. This little book was written as a diary to himself while emperor fighting a war out on the boarder of the Roman Empire and today this book is known to us as The Meditations.


    • I had great hopes for this book when I saw it on the bargain table. I always felt Catherine was an interesting character a German princess who deposes her husband to become the Russian Tsarina and leads the country for a long period of time through a turbulent period in European history. Not mention her numerous lovers. The book fails quite miserably. The main thing is that the author seems obsessed with how much money Catherine spends on things we are often entreated to she gave him/her somethi [...]


    • While Peter the Great is a household name even outside Russia, Catherine the Great, despite her identical moniker, has not met with the same level of fame. But Simon Dixon’s biography of the Russian empress does not seek to demonstrate the impact of her nearly 35-year reign (1762-1796) on Russia and its posterity. It is truly a biography of Catherine herself and helps the reader identify with the sovereign and the way she experienced life on a daily basis. Dixon walks us through Catherine’s [...]


    • Certainly one of the worst biographies of a fascinating and historically important person. The first 100 or so pages is really a biography of Empress Elizabeth, after that it's tedious details about court expenses and other details that aren't significant. The writer skips out on some more interesting details especially on her marriage to Peter III. The author makes it seem like they got married hated each other, lived separate lives and then all of a sudden there was a coup. Waste of time


    • This reads like a high school history text. It is a fairly dry presentation of facts, without really choosing any of the many angles it could have taken into this remarkable woman's life (the creator of the "code russe", the feminist angle, the bizarre rumors and innuendo, etc). Maybe the dryness was the angle.I certainly learned a lot, and occasionally got highly engaged, but overall this book was not as interesting as it could have been, or as I had hoped it would be.


    • I wanted to like this book. I have studied Catherine's life & rule since high school, however this book was not all I thought it would be. I could not even finish it. The book, what I read, focused more on the renovations of the palaces and their travels to and from. It had some good points that dealt specifically with her life and reign, but on a whole I was disappointed. I have never not finished a book, but this one I could bear no longer.


    • A decent book for information on Catherine the Great and her reign but i was expecting more. It seems like most of the book is spent talking about Catherine's palace renovations and trips from one place to another and going to various church ceremonies. The book also is not really chronological but flows in general eras but while one page you're reading about events in 1791, a few pages later you're back to 1787.An adequate book, but I would not recommend it.


    • This book would have benefited from some stronger editing. The author focused too much on what seemed to me to be extraneous details. I can see how this might be an appealing book for historians already interested in the details of this era, as a book I had hoped would leave me with a clear picture of who Catherine the Great was and what her contribution was, I found it lacking.


    • A fantastic book about the life and reign of Catherine the Great. My only problem with it is that the author would skip over some events that seem important and just briefly mention them when I wanted to know about these events.


    • I felt this book was more a financial account than a personal one. I didn't get a real sense of Catherine's life compared to all the insane details of her purchases, investments and architectural detail.


    • A very good, nonbiased look at Catherine II, the Great, of Russia. To read the longer review, please go here:epinions/review/Book_C


    • Mr Dixon knows how to bore one with tedious accounts of the various costs associated with the Russian empire. *Yawn, I'm sure there are much more interesting details about Catherine's life available.


    • Not a great book. Too much time given to detailing renovations & costs. Not placed well within either Russian or world history.


    • Author was making a catalogue of parties and the price of palaces, rather than addressing social political and geopolitical aspects of the ruler's life.



    • 16th book of 2010. Catherine the Great intrigues me to no end. This book is a bit slow at times, but definitely worth reading. I want to read more books about this incredible monarch.


    • The fact that it took me 3 years to finish this says it all. I learned lots about Russian history and Catherine the Great, but the book was so dense for my slim Russian history background.


    • Loved it! Simon Dixon added a story to the life of the great empress Ekaterina II. I would read tihs one more time if I could.



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