Against the monumental canvas of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe and Russia, Robert K. Massie unfolds the extraordinary story of Peter the Great. A volatile feudal tsar with a taste for barbaric torture; a progressive and enlightened reformer of government and science; a statesman of vision who recreated his country´s army and navy and founded St Petersburg as his imperial capital: Peter the Great embodied the greatest strengths and weaknesses of Russia while being at the very forefront of her development.
Robert K. Massie delves deep into Peter´s life and character, chronicling the pivotal events that transformed the boy tsar into a national icon. His portrayal of the complexities and contradictions of this most energetic of Russian rulers – a man both impetuous and stubborn, generous and cruel – brings a towering historical figure triumphantly to life.
Robert K. Massie was born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1929. He studied American History at Yale University and Modern European History at Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes scholar. He lives in Irvington, New York.