Friday, March 1, 2013

14. The Romanovs: The Final Chapter

By:  Robert K. Masie
Rated 4 Stars
Audio Book

The first half of this book tells the story of how the remains of the Romanov family was finally discovered after team after team of scientists, amateur archeologists, the KGB and just plain adventurers looking for their 15 minutes of fame spent fortunes and sometimes lifetimes searching for them.

It then goes on to describe the sickening in-fighting between teams of scientists and politicians from any country or region with even the most tenuous claim to have an interest in them indulged fought over the bones.  It was pretty disgusting and I was amazed how people with so much education would stoop so low.  The few scientists who did have integrity were almost buried in the avalanche of mud and had to fight tooth and nail to protect their reputations.  As I said, disgusting.  At the time this book was written the bones of the Romanov family was still laying in a morgue in Moscow while the Government fights over where and how to bury them.  Sad!

The second half of the book was pretty much devoted to Anna Anderson, the Polish peasant woman as she utilmately turned out to be was able to perpetrate such a long running and fairly creditable hoax for so long.  I Her story was very good and I guess it must be pretty easy to convince people who really want to be convinced of almost anything.

Book Description:

In July 1991, nine skeletons were exhumed from a shallow mass grave near Ekaterinburg, Siberia, a few miles from the infamous cellar room where the last tsar and his family had been murdered 73 years before. But were these the bones of the Romanovs? And if these were their remains, where were the bones of the two younger Romanovs supposedly murdered with the rest of the family? Was Anna Anderson, celebrated for more than 60 years in newspapers, books, and film, really Grand Duchess Anastasia? The Romanovs provides the answers, describing in suspenseful detail the dramatic efforts to discover the truth.
Pulitzer Prize winner Robert K. Massie presents a colorful panorama of contemporary characters, illuminating the major scientific dispute between Russian experts and a team of Americans, whose findings, along with those of DNA scientists from Russia, America, and Great Britain, all contributed to solving one of the great mysteries of the 20th century.