PETER THE GREAT: The Reformer-Tsar by Douglas Liversidge

PETER THE GREAT: The Reformer-Tsar

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The more personally sensational characteristics and the extent of Peter's efforts to westernize Russia. Peter is properly obsessive, prone to cruelty and jealousy as in his on-and-off feelings for son Alexis, less likely to display affection although his feelings for Catherine were certainly strong. He was a doer, whether learning carpentry or subjecting his court to his own teeth extraction methods; travelling incognito, he was able to converse with peasants, equally capable of demanding their renunciation of ties to Russian customs, making them shave their beards and wear European clothes. Liversidge does insist that the bourgeois and born nobles, rather than the peasants, benefitted from his programs; he also includes the shift of the capitol, the conflict with the Patriarch, the development of a civil service -- as organizer and a technician father than a social reformer. Some simplifications (""he declined morally"") but basically sound.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1968
Publisher: Watts