Thursday, December 15, 2005

Look whose reading about Alexander II...

Yes, I was surprised to read a Mosnews article that President Bush read Edvard Radzinsky's book Alexander II: The Last Great Czar. Apparently, he found Alexander II's interest in fighting terrorism relevant. Radzinsky is somewhat circumspect to this news:

"Being a president is a profession, and when an American starts familiarizing himself with it, he tries to do his best,” Radzinsky pointed out. “And of course when he (Bush) learned that there is a book about terrorism, hewanted to read it, because for one thing, it is about terrorism and,secondly, he could find out that the war against terrorism was declared before his time.”

Accordingly, Radzinsky assumes Bush has

..drawn the connection to the terrorists of today. “Very noble young people who dreamed about the future of Russia became killers, because blood destroys souls,” Radzinsky said. “That for me is the most important lesson.” (here)

Finally, gotta love the intro to this Washington Times Book Review:

There are several good reasons for calling Alexander II the last great czar, a reformer in the tradition of Peter the Great. A young Queen Victoria fell in love with Alexander, but to no avail. Alexander eventually married his long time mistress and legitimated their children which was more than his great-grandmother, Catherine the Great, with 13 official lovers, ever did.


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