The Race To Save The Romanovs by Helen Rappaport

I really enjoyed reading and reviewing Helen Rappaport’s previous book Caught in the Revolution: Petrograd 1917. As I wrote in my review of that book at the time, as well as being an informative and entertaining read, Caught in the Revolution is an historically important book, collecting as it does many valuable viewpoints and insights from first hand witnesses to Russia’s revolutions of 1917 in one entertaining volume.

It helps that the book was written by an author with rare insight into Russia and great compassion for the people she writes about; in her hands they are really human beings not dead words. Like us, they were real people. We would all do well to remember this.

The Race to Save the Romanovs is written with all the above skills displayed and investigates an important aspect of the Russian Revolutions. To wit, why did the Romanovs’ European relatives and the Allied governments all fail to save them from brutal murder at the hands of the Bolsheviks?

I won’t spoil the book, but the traditional notion that it was all the fault of George V of England is very much overturned.

Rappaport’s research is unprecedented. She is a literary Sherlock Holmes, albeit one investigating a real life tragedy. Moreover, only a writer as well versed in Russian history could have melded her research into a book so adroitly. That she is fair-minded in her conclusions helps greatly.

Finally, and again as I wrote on Caught in the Revolution: Petrograd 1917, this book could easily be adapted into a splendid documentary.


(Published by Hutchinson)

Steve Earles is author and co-author of numerous projects, including To End All Wars: The WWI Graphic Anthology, available summer 2014 (

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