2012 Best Biography: Catherine the Great

This was a weak year for biographies as the category was dominated by political subjects which hold no interest for me. However, Massie’s book did stand out. Hopefully, 2013 will be better.

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert Massie. One of my favorite historical figures closely examined. Both her years as Grand Duchess under the rule of Empress Elizabeth and the oppression of her husband, Peter III, and the 33 years of her rule as Catherine II. Her approach to enlightened autocracy with its successes (the arts) and failures (serfs) are described in great detail.

For all my previous “books of the year” lists, see my dedicated page for these titles.


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