“An admiring biography of the minor German princess who at the age of 15 married Peter the Not So Great, the mentally incompetent teenager who was the grandson of Peter the Great and heir to the Russian throne. (Peter the Great was the subject of an earlier Pulitzer prize-winning biography by Massie.) In the decade that followed, Catherine educated herself through reading as a means of staving off her general misery, and in 1762, with the help of her lover, she deposed her husband six months after he became Emperor to assume the throne in his stead. As Empress, she ruled as an 'enlightened' autocrat, experime
nting with an elected advisory body a decade before the Continental Congress in America, attempting (unsuccessfully) to eradicate the Russian system of serfdom, and buying up European art masterpieces, while fighting wars and pragmatically juggling political alliances. She also wrote a remarkable autobiography, and maintained a string of lovers up to forty years her junior. What a woman, what a book!”—Arlene, Watermark Book Company, Anacortes. Buy Catherine the Great from your local indie.