PETER THE GREAT by Joan Joseph


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One of the problems in analyzing Peter's life is seeing beyond the many instances of brutality and plans for westernization to what was accomplished and how much his initiative was responsible. That sort of penetration is missing in this account, a series of sensational scenes with contrived dialogue conveying momentary moods without establishing any sense of the period or substantial insight into the man's character. For example, protesting generals watching their beards drop to the floor receive more, and more dramatic, attention than the revolt of the Streltsy; further, the organization of a civil service, the extent and areas of his reforms are hardly touched, and there is the suggestion that the peasants were equally affected. For a more balanced treatment of an unbalanced life, see Liversidge's Peter the Great (p. 912, J-338).

Pub Date: Sept. 23rd, 1968
Publisher: Messner