Not a true personality biography but the biography of a period in time, the last half of the 16th century, with Ivan IV playing chief role. Differing from most of the horror ridden recitals of Ivan's reign of terror, this biographer indicates the causes which produced the first true czar; he claims that Ivan broke with the rigid structure of the past and asserted the vital rights of the personality. The book has a certain timeliness, for the historians of the USSR lay stress on the breaking up of the feudal system, the identification of the state with the administrators thereof, and the chaos of the ensuing time of troubles following Ivan's death....From 1530 to 1584- full span of Ivan's life, the domestic and international politics are dealt with in meticulous detail, interwoven with the events of his life. His monstrous crimes recede into the category of horrors in a time of horrors; his positive contribution can be less emotionally judged. There are many parallels in contemporary Russian history. Important contribution to international understanding- for libraries, schools, students.