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  #201  
Old 08-20-2011, 03:10 PM
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Read the history of the papacy, and you'll see popes and cardinals galore with mistresses and there's the one (the one right before the Borgia pope) who only acknowledged his bastard sons (16, I think) not his bastard daughters and had way more sexual partners than just 16. Powerful men are often promiscuous and Catholic popes, cardinals, bishops and priests are no exceptions to that rule. Sure, some are celibate.

Russian Orthodoxy has to requirement of celibacy by the way, so it seems far more "devilish" and unorthodox on the part of the Catholic popes who "sinned" by having sex outside of wedlock.

Rasputin was a charismatic figure and Alexandra was your typical, suggestible, highborn Victorian lady. There many, many mystical sects in Russia at the time - I'd be interested to know which one Rasputin belonged to. He thought sin was necessary to dispel the sin of vanity, so that one would have a reason to repent, but if one looks at the amount of sex and drinking in other religions at the time (and earlier), it seems to have been a widespread idea (Dante even puts sins like drinking, overeating and sex in the first circle of hell, IIRC).

Rasputin probably believed in his own powers (which seem to have been hypnosis and the power of suggestion, both of which only work on certain people - Freud call them histrionics). It seems clear that Alexandra was calmed by even a telegram or a word from Rasputin, so from her point of view, he must have seemed quite powerful.

Many men in those days took small amounts of poison to make themselves less susceptible to poisoning (and in prior days) and some people still do. It's similar to the idea of innoculation. But it wasn't arsenic used to poison him - it was cyanide. The 1916 autopsy specifically states that there was no evidence of poisoning, although it is theorized that since the witnesses said the cyanide was put into cakes, that it might have vaporized during cooking. During Rasputin's days, people did still practice the self-innoculation procedure and cyanide was at the top of the list of poisons that people tried to develop an immunity to.

The 1916 autopsy has not been published, but two reputable teams of doctors have been given access to it, and they confirm that the tests done on the body would have revealed cyanide poisoning, but that there was none. These reports also put into doubt his drowning. Witnesses say he was shot in the back, but the autopsy states he was shot in the forehead and that the shot (from a different gun from the others) was instantly fatal - he was dead before he went into the water.

There are many myths and legends about Rasputin, and he certainly was a hardy fellow (after being shot 3 times in the back, he still tried to strangle his assailant, witnesses seem to agree). Intriguingly, the type of bullet that went into his forehead was of a type used almost exclusively by the British in those days - and Rasputin was urging the Tsar to be a pacifist regarding the Great War. British intelligence apparently had at least two agents in St Petersburg at the time.

Link regarding the autopsy report, reviewed by a British forensic pathologist in 2004:

Professor says it was a bullet wound...

The bullet wound in the forehead can be seen in the grim picture posted on Rasputin's wiki page.
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  #202  
Old 08-20-2011, 04:36 PM
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Princess Kaimi your info about Rasputin's autopsy is very informative, I had never heard that there was no poison found in him. It is very likely that because the people who killed him weren't professionals that they easily messed up their plans. This is rather more likely than that he had help from the devil. Also I have heard of people who have been shot and thrown into a river yet died of drowning because the bullet wounds hadn't yet killed them. Not to say they wouldn't have, but the water got to them first. I personally don't see Rasputin's two faced behavior as any different from countless other politicians, courtiers, sycophants throughout history. He did have a large influence on the hatred spewed on the Romanov family but whether Rasputin was there or not Alexandra was still going to isolate herself and do what she thought was right regardless of the larger population. Whatever Rasputin did for Alexei it obviously worked while he was involved in his treatment; some people suggest hypnosis or just forcing those around Alexei to be calm and stop irritating him and as a result irritating his body and preventing it from healing.
The whole hatred towards Rasputin could have been avoided if Alexandra and Nicholas had not been so secretive about what was going on; that was their idea not Rasputin's.
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  #203  
Old 08-21-2011, 12:29 AM
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Rasputin may have started out as a "holy" man but he is and was no different than any other supposed "man of God" who uses the gullibility and susceptibility of others to further his own means. Don't ascribe the devil to his actions. He was a coarse and evil man who preyed upon the religious maniacs of the time to get women in his bed and to generally create havoc. Why do you suppose so many others saw through him? Because Rasputin was a quack and a liar. Is any different than the televangelists who tell viewers to send money or else God will call him home (I think that one was Oral Roberts)? Because religion must rely on faith, the faithful can be sucked in by believing this person is a messenger from God.
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  #204  
Old 08-21-2011, 01:26 AM
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The man was considered a fraudulent starets; he was young while most were old and he was sleepign with everything that walked while most starets who were genuine lived celibate lives. There is no reason that he had any business literally blaspheming the Orthodox religion the way he did and encouraging the Empress to depend on him nad him alone.
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  #205  
Old 08-27-2011, 10:52 AM
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Rasputin and The Jews - A Reversal of History

First of all, Rasputin was not a Khlysty, as suggested by the person who said that he believed in having sex to sin, so he could be absolved. As the author of a book on Rasputin, clearing his name, I've read well over a hundred books on the subject, in English and French. Rasputin learned of the Khlysty, but did not follow their religion, which also included self-flagellation. He was Russian Orthodox, but the clergy detested him because he preached that people could talk directly to God and didn't need an intermediary. He also criticized the Church for not coming to the aid of all people, such as the oppressed Jewish population. He felt it was more Christ-like to help all.

He never claimed to be a staretz, but was a strannik - a wandering seeker of spirituality. Much of the evil that's been attributed to him is easily debunked in my book. In fact, the 'evil' is rarely defined in other sources. He was a healer. This has been documented by many witnesses, including doctors. He did not believe in hypnotism - in fact he thought it was evil. The aristocracy spread many rumors about him, in order to discredit him but, primarily, he was truly hated for advocating equal rights for the Jews. Some people find this a flimsy reason for hating him, but that's because they don't understand the nature and manifestation of anti-Semitism of that time.

Jews were restricted to a ghetto called The Pale of Settlement and, with some exception, were not allowed to leave, risking imprisonment if they did. They were denied educations and many occupations and were not allowed to hold any political or military posts. The Romanovs (for generations, with the exception of Alexander II) sanctioned 'pogroms' - regular raids on Jewish villages, wherein entire villages of Jews were tortured and slaughtered. This was the extent of anti-Semitism at the time. In political cartoons of the time, Jews were depicted as evil demons, just like Rasputin was. In fact, some accused him of being a Jew.

The charges of promiscuity against Rasputin were never substantiated and, in fact, an investigation by the post-Revolutionary Extraordinary Commission cleared him of any wrong-doing, finding him to be a man of large heart who gave money and aid to the poor and begged the Tsar to remove from the books the prejudicial laws restricting Jews. The charges of promiscuity and drinking were very hypocritical, as the aristocrats consumed vodka and French champagne by the case, and had so many sexual partners that newspaper ads for cures for sexually transmitted diseases were rampant. In fact, it's been said that had he been a noble, those behaviors would have been perfectly acceptable.

His 'evil' meddling in government affairs were efforts to both prevent war and to gain equal rights for the Jews. Those he recommended for cabinet posts generally had promised him they would champion those causes, but often didn't.

What it boils down to is that the Romanovs had a lot of blood on their hands, for the innocent people they ruthlessly killed, while Rasputin never harmed a soul and even refused to press charges against the many who tried to assassinate him. He even forgave them, because he felt it was Christ-like.

Read "Rasputin and The Jews: A Reversal of History".
Amazon.com: Rasputin and The Jews: A Reversal of History (9781461027751): Delin Colón: Books
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  #206  
Old 10-01-2011, 07:01 PM
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He seems to be the "holy man" who saved czarivich Aleksey from his hemophilia episodes and the czarina believed in him too much, and believed everything he said while Romanov relatives didn't like such a drunk filthy man being in the inner circle if the royal court, the czarina's sister the grand duchess Elisabeth fyodorovna was one of them and Alexandra I instead told het sister to leave and never return and all because Ella told alix the true horrible things about rapsputin but alix dismissed these rumors and fell under his influence. Nicholas II went to the front in WWI and Alexandra was left to govern the Russian Empire and she had Rasputin help her rule the country and Also because she was a German princess it didn't look good ,there also seemed a point where even Nicholas II no longer wanted Rasputin in the palace.
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  #207  
Old 10-01-2011, 08:03 PM
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About Rasputin

While the Tsar himself said that it always gave him a feeling of peace to talk to Rasputin about spiritual things, The Tsar, like most other aristocrats, hated Jews and Rasputin kept pushing the issues of giving equal rights to Jews, as well as avoiding war. He was seen as a traitor for this stance and often tried to get cabinet ministers appointed who promised to push those issues. That was where Nicholas II drew the line. Rasputin was also horrified by the state sanctioned raids, called 'pogroms' wherein entire villages of Jews were tortured and slaughtered. The Tsar had a lot of blood on his hands. Rasputin, however, was a healer and never harmed nor killed a soul.

It was only the aristocracy who hated him. He helped thousands of common folk. He had his rich patrons give money to the poor and he helped many Jews obtain educations, occupations, and residences outside the Pale of Settlement (the ghetto they were forced to live in), that they were otherwise denied by law.

Also, he was not filthy by any means. He went to the bath house every day. Many such rumors were spread about him by the aristocracy to discredit him. Other rumors, such as the womanizing and drinking were hypocritical, considering that the promiscuous Russian aristocracy was rife with venereal diseases, judging from the numerous newspaper ads for cures for those ills. And, as far as the drinking, the nobility consumed French champagne and vodka by the case. Some authors assert that if Rasputin had been a noble and accused of womanizing and drinking, no one would have thought a thing of it. There was no evidence of inappropriate behavior with women, other than, perhaps, kissing and hugging.

The newspapers published political cartoons, in an attempt to sway public opinion, depicting Rasputin the same way they did Jews - as evil, demonic, ugly figures.

Read "Rasputin and The Jews: A Reversal of History" for the real story.
Amazon.com: Rasputin and The Jews: A Reversal of History (9781461027751): Delin Colón: Books
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  #208  
Old 10-01-2011, 08:05 PM
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See my reply above your comments.
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  #209  
Old 10-01-2011, 08:33 PM
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Aristo, I don't know if Rasputin encouraged Alexandra to rely on him and him alone, I think she did that all on her own. Whatever Rasputin was and did, he was helpful to Alexei when nobody else was. I feel that perhaps the whole Rasputin "affair" could have been alleviated a little if the reason for him being there wasn't kept a secret from everybody. I don't know if it would have helped the family entirely because Rasputin was still taking part in bad behavior when away from them which angered a lot of people.
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  #210  
Old 10-01-2011, 11:53 PM
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I have read that Alexandra was tolerant of different religions and warned the Tsar to allow subjects of foreign lands to worship according to their beliefs and do not harm them. Therefore, I can accept that Rasputin may have been an advocate for the Jews of Russia when others were oppressing them.

But this good quality should not overshadow his faults. Historians seem to agree that he and Alexandra interefered in politics and secured appointments based on likes and dislikes, as opposed to appointing people who were good or right for the job. Rasputin had a hand in bringing down the Tsar.
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  #211  
Old 10-02-2011, 10:45 AM
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Read the book

Alexandra may have been tolerant, but the Tsar definitely wasn't. And it's not that he may have been an advocate, he was. And most historians agree about that, but gloss over it because it's not a concern for them. The Jews of Russia were oppressed and denied rights for centuries.

Many of his faults were exaggerated to discredit him, and were also faults of those pointing fingers. The people Rasputin tried to have appointed were people who would grant the Jews equal rights, or advocate for peace instead of war. Of course, if you want to discredit him and make it appear there was no logic behind this, you could say that he chose candidates for ridiculous reasons.

I think the Tsar brought the Tsar down more than anyone. He was weak willed and indecisive. I don't think you would have found too many common folk, Jews and peasants, who were unhappy about getting out from under the Tsar's oppressive thumb when he abdicated. The Jews left in droves, during the Romanov rule, to live in countries such as the U.S. and Canada where they could pursue a decent life without the threat of death hanging over them. Ironically, once the Tsar was gone, the Jews were given freedom, the land was dispersed to peasants to farm, and the government made sure that everyone had food, handing out ration cards. Under Nicholas II, if you were starving, you died. The Tsar was completely against modernizing and entering the industrial era. All these things that happened after the abdication, were recommendations Rasputin made to the Tsar. Had he listened, the 1917 Revolution might have been avoided.

I've read a couple of hundred books on the subject and authored one: "Rasputin and The Jews: A Reversal of History". One thing I've discovered is that the French historians (as well as some Russian ones) are much more interested in looking at Rasputin in a less sensationalist, gossipy way than American or English-speaking biographers are.

And, of course, if your ancestors didn't endure the horrors of living in the ghetto and suffering the raids, under Nicholas II's rule, it's alien territory and of little importance.
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  #212  
Old 10-02-2011, 10:56 AM
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V. Markos, you're right and I assume everyone agrees that Rasputin helped bring down the Romanov's. I have to re-read N&A, but I wonder why he was so adamant that Nicholas leave St. Petersburg for the front. I do think the disaster that occurred after was more Nicholas and Alexandra's fault due to their lack of perception and understanding.
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  #213  
Old 10-02-2011, 11:21 AM
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What Brought Down the Romanovs

What brought down the Romanovs was that people were hungry, treated poorly, had terrible working conditions and were sick of being treated like animals. Don't forget, there was also a revolution in 1905, before Rasputin became involved with the royal family. That, too, happened because the people were tired of the disparity between their own horrific conditions and the wildly decadent aristocrats. Like the Jews, Rasputin had been a scapegoat for Russia's ills. The royals cared little about the common people. In fact, Sergei Witte, in his own memoirs, tells of an officer reporting the army's slaughter of the Jews in one town, while the army was retreating from the Germans. The Tsar's reply was to ask how this concerned him. Alexandra wrote to him telling him he should keep it quiet, or they might not get the loans from other countries that they'd applied for.

The royals were completely out of touch. Karma's a strange thing. Once the royals were held captive and Vyrubova confined, they wrote to each other, bitterly complaining about their freedom being curtailed, how they weren't permitted to receive or do certain things, or go anywhere, in addition to their belongings being constantly searched. This was exactly what the common people lived through under their regime - a taste of their own medicine, so to speak. Although they certainly didn't deserve to die, at least they weren't tortured beforehand, as others were under their rule.

Royalty is all pretty on the outside, but underneath, it's often built on the pain and suffering of those they rule.
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delincolon View Post
Alexandra may have been tolerant, but the Tsar definitely wasn't. And it's not that he may have been an advocate, he was. And most historians agree about that, but gloss over it because it's not a concern for them. The Jews of Russia were oppressed and denied rights for centuries.


And, of course, if your ancestors didn't endure the horrors of living in the ghetto and suffering the raids, under Nicholas II's rule, it's alien territory and of little importance.
My dear Delincolon,

I never wrote or said that the Tsar was tolerant of Jews. I merely pointed out that Alexandra was tolerant of other religious beliefs to illustrate my thought that others, such as Rasputin, could hold similar beliefs. And I never said the Jews of Russia were not oppressed, nor do I find the Tsar's behavior to be admirable when so many of his people suffered.

I also think you go too far in writing that if one's ancestors never suffered under the Tsar's yoke or lived in a ghetto, one finds such things to be of little importance. That is like saying that if one never suffered child abuse, one cannot understand the misery nor be revulsed by such behavior. I have never held with those who categorize or stereotype or oppress others because of skin color, religious beliefs, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.

It is clear that you believe historians have maligned Rasputin and you have obviously made it a focus of your book. I will have to read it and then draw my own conclusion. Until then, can you also list the French historians and others whom you trust to offer an honest portrayal of Rasputin? I am curious to learn more about him because nothing I have read to date offers much in the way of praising him.

One more question: in your studies, did you find anything bad about Rasputin or any wrong decision he made at the time? In other words, did he have feet of clay like the rest of us and did he also act in any manner to make people dislike him, other than supporting the Jews of Tsarist Russia?
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:43 PM
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The mere idea that Rasputin was only hated because he liked Jews is laughable.
This is rather off topic, but I've been debating whether Alexander or Nicholas' treatment of the Jews was more revolting; I find I can't even give them a pass based on the times they lived in.
Back to Rasputin, again I find the problems he "caused" were his fault along with Alexandra and Nicholas for indulging her. Alexandra seemed to have a mentality like modern superstars surrounded by sycophants, they refuse to listen to reason and look at things from other peoples perspective, when someone disagreed with her about Rasputin she cut them off. Even her own sister! If she had been willing to to realize that there perhaps was a problem with Rasputin she could have perhaps asked that he change his behavior. I highly doubt he would have turned his back on her and stopped helping Alexei.
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  #216  
Old 10-02-2011, 07:59 PM
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I apologize if I've offended you. It's just that I've heard from some others that they thought anti-Semitism was a flimsy excuse for hating Rasputin. If you read French, I highly recommend:
"Raspoutine" by Andrei Amalrik
"Raspoutine" by Michel De Enden
"Raspoutine Est Innocent" by Alain Rouiller
"Raspoutine - Une Tragedie Russe" by Yves Ternon

Also, check out "Rasputin: Neither Devil Nor Saint" by Dr. Elizabeth Judas
The only thing I didn't like about Judas was that she published, in her book, the very famous photo of Rasputin surrounded by his followers, having inserted her own picture in place of Rasputin's father's in the original. However, she did know him throughout her childhood and early adulthood.

Thank you, by the way, for taking seriously what I had to say. And, again, I'm sorry if I came on strong, but like other authors who have tried to rectify Rasputin's image, I've found it to be an uphill battle, with many set on believing the fiction and not being open to the reality. And I truly appreciated the diplomacy of your reply. Peace, my friend.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:17 PM
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Xenia

As 'laughable' as it may seem to you, anyone who helped the Jews was viewed as a traitor. And Alexander II was probably the most liberal of Tsars, even though there were still many restrictions. The Jews mourned his death. Alexander III was pretty much on a par with Nicholas II (and I). The laws restricting residency, occupation and education for Jews were largely the same, as were the pogroms. Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevitch was one of the worst offenders, having his men slaughter any Jews they came across, during their retreat from the Germans. That kind of hatred fosters a prejudice that taints anyone who comes to the aid of the minority. Not so laughable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XeniaCasaraghi View Post
The mere idea that Rasputin was only hated because he liked Jews is laughable.
This is rather off topic, but I've been debating whether Alexander or Nicholas' treatment of the Jews was more revolting; I find I can't even give them a pass based on the times they lived in.
Back to Rasputin, again I find the problems he "caused" were his fault along with Alexandra and Nicholas for indulging her. Alexandra seemed to have a mentality like modern superstars surrounded by sycophants, they refuse to listen to reason and look at things from other peoples perspective, when someone disagreed with her about Rasputin she cut them off. Even her own sister! If she had been willing to to realize that there perhaps was a problem with Rasputin she could have perhaps asked that he change his behavior. I highly doubt he would have turned his back on her and stopped helping Alexei.
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:54 PM
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My dear Delincolon,

I was not offended and thank you for your gracious response. I am afraid I do not read French but perhaps I can find some other works on Rasputin. I am always ready to readjust my beliefs and I do realize that some authors may have built in biases or agendas or whatnots. To some extent, all historical works can be somewhat subjective but hey, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion and should be allowed to state it without fear of attack.

I know that Roman historians castigated Cleopatra and smeared her as a way to validate their conquest of Egypt. Rasputin may have been smeared for similar reasons. People always want a villain and Rasputin probably fills that role for many. In this forum dedicated to royals, you will probably find few that may agree with you because of the tragic execution of the Tsar's family along with him and Alexandra. But this is a forum for discussion on and about royals, both good and bad.
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:52 AM
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I am no monarchist nor do I have a problem placing the blame for the revolution on Nicholas and Alexandra. They were two of the worst people who could have been chosen to be autocrats. My problem is only taking one authors view and stating it as the only fact,bthe only reason Rasputin was killed was because he liked Jews; then taking everything he did and making it about that one issue. Rasputin was hated by a lot of people not just the aristocracy, they just happened to be the ones who killed him.
My point is, if his support of Jews was a factor, that it wasn't the only factor. I won't ignore the history of the bad things he did and his bad behavior just because a book comes out that highlights only his good qualities.
In the story of the Romanovs, the villains are the people who murdered them; I for one don't need GR to fill that role.
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  #220  
Old 10-03-2011, 09:50 AM
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Xenia

One author's view? I've read well over a hundred books on the subject. I've taken many authors viewpoints into consideration and quoted many in my book. The problem I have is when folks speak in general about Rasputin's "bad behavior". Just what behavior are we talking about? Are you speaking of the same decadent bad behavior all of the aristocracy took part in? Are you speaking of his efforts to have cabinet members appointed who would end the war and free the Jews? His begging Nicholas: not to send soldiers into war without ammunition; to keep down the black market prices on food, so everyone could afford to eat; to give the peasants land to farm so the nation would have more food; to visit the factory workers to show his support? Much of his advice was common sense. But Nicholas was stubborn.

No one ever gets really specific about why he's considered bad. Just what horrible things are we talking about? And were they horrible just because he was a peasant - but would have been acceptable if he was a nobleman? He was hated primarily by the aristocracy, the bureaucracy and the clergy... not by the common man. He helped thousands of common folks. And it wasn't just because he liked Jews - it was because he helped them. There are many issues addressed in the book, but this one kept popping up in my reading. And I never said it was the ONLY reason he was killed. Never talked about why he was killed. He was killed because Yussupov thought it would make the aristocracy and the government happy. I'm not concerned nor do I discuss why he was killed. You drew that conclusion on your own. I said that his aid to Jews was the primary reason he was maligned - depicted as evil. I discuss how he was discredited, not how or why he died. Although, Yussupov even wrote, in his memoirs, that the night he killed him, Rasputin spoke to him of defending and advocating for the Jews and asked Yussupov why shouldn't he do that.

I'm not sure if you're very young or just know very little about the pervasiveness of anti-Semitism, or that you haven't read that many books about Rasputin (it's discussed in the memoirs of all who knew him). However, at many times in history, entire societies have turned on "that one issue", as you say. That you don't believe that a person could be hated or vilified for that reason (though millions have been killed for that reason), shows a bit of naivete.

I don't take "everything he did" and make it about one issue. I can't rewrite the book here for you, but there are chapters on all different phases of his life, all different aspects of his character, but you can't critique the book simply based on a paragraph summary - nor conclude what it's about. You've already drawn a number of fallacious conclusions and put words in my mouth.

So, I'm interested to know what you think the 'bad things' were.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XeniaCasaraghi View Post
I am no monarchist nor do I have a problem placing the blame for the revolution on Nicholas and Alexandra. They were two of the worst people who could have been chosen to be autocrats. My problem is only taking one authors view and stating it as the only fact,bthe only reason Rasputin was killed was because he liked Jews; then taking everything he did and making it about that one issue. Rasputin was hated by a lot of people not just the aristocracy, they just happened to be the ones who killed him.
My point is, if his support of Jews was a factor, that it wasn't the only factor. I won't ignore the history of the bad things he did and his bad behavior just because a book comes out that highlights only his good qualities.
In the story of the Romanovs, the villains are the people who murdered them; I for one don't need GR to fill that role.
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