Andrew Solomon

Andrew Solomon is the author of The Ivory Tower: Soviet Artists in a Time of Glasnost and of the novel A Stone Boat.

Russian hearts are strange

Andrew Solomon, 20 June 1996

As Communism began to wear thin in the mid-Eighties, many Russians looked back to the tsarist period as grander and more Russian than the Jewish-Germanic system under which they had most recently suffered. Indoctrinated with anti-tsarist sentiment, they broke free by turning pro-tsarist. In fact, the Romanovs were in general dutiful, hard-working and determined to do as much good for Russia as they were capable of. But their deification – Nicholas will probably be canonised before the year is out – is also absurd: the Romanovs were in general inept, remote, narrow-minded, anti-semitic, intolerant, repressive and irresponsible.

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