“In a dazzling act of literary license, the novelist and poet Jill Dawson has transformed the sensational true story of Britain’s infamous condemned adulteress into a dramatic novel of passion, murder, and scandal, as seductive as it is shocking.
“The Romanovs were the most successful dynasty of modern times, ruling a sixth of the world’s surface for three centuries. How did one family turn a war-ruined principality into the world’s greatest empire? And how did they lose it all?
“This is the intimate story of twenty tsars and tsarinas, some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition. Simon Sebag Montefiore’s gripping chronicle reveals their secret world of unlimited power and ruthless empire-building, overshadowed by palace conspiracy, family rivalries, sexual decadence and wild extravagance, with a global cast of adventurers, courtesans, revolutionaries and poets, from Ivan the Terrible to Tolstoy and Pushkin, to Bismarck, Lincoln, Queen Victoria and Lenin.
My review on Amazon.com:
Jenna Maio comes from a secular Jewish family. Growing up she viewed the Torah observant Jews in her neighborhood as medieval throwbacks. But as she got older and started on her life’s path, she realized that there was a void in her life. After becoming dissatisfied with a party life, she moved on to environmental activism. But the void grew larger, deeper. Finally, she rediscovered Judaism. Not the bagel and lox Americana-Judaism. But the profound truths of Torah Judaism.
“With liberal democracy embattled, public discourse grown toxic, family life breaking down, and drug abuse and depression on the rise, many fear what the future holds.
“In Morality, respected faith leader and public intellectual Jonathan Sacks traces today’s crisis to our loss of a strong, shared moral code and our elevation of self-interest over the common good. We have outsourced morality to the market and the state, but neither is capable of showing us how to live. Sacks leads readers from ancient Greece to the Enlightenment to the present day to show that there is no liberty without morality and no freedom without responsibility, arguing that we all must play our part in rebuilding a common moral foundation.