Russia, Peter, Simon Sebag discussed on John Bachelor
I'm John Baxter. This is the John Baxter show. Simon Sebag. Montefiore is the author of a new book, A massive telling of the Romanovs, the Romanovs. The family that dominated Russia, Russia that we see now the imperial power wanting to return to those era imperial power. That's the same Russia we see in the 17th century. And we have to quickly now there's backstory. There's always backstory in Russia, Michael the 1st 16 13 to 16 45 is a boy child when he's awakened in March of 16 13. What is the threat to him at this point, and then we'll go on to the threat to the Peter in the 17th century. Help me, Simon. Yes, well, this is the beginning of the Romanov dynasty in the Roman also risen, risen to prominence when Ivan the Terrible married his first wife was a Roman off on And he loved her. And so they were kind of into married and they married into the family of the ruling dynasty. And when they do this, there was extinct. Russia dissolved and became a failing state invaded on every side by On foreign power. Sweden, Poland and so on on and They looked for a new, fresh, untainted young young czar, and they found him in Mike, One of the family, the Romanov family. Of course, the invaders immediately wanted to kill him. So so hit squads were sent by the polls in the Swedes to find his boy and kill him. But meanwhile, the boy I knew nothing about this. He was hiding in a monastery in the countryside. One day he was awakened, as you said on when he came out with his mother, the that the whole of Moscow's great and good was standing there and they fell to their knees. They kiss the floor and they hailed him a czar. And he burst into tears because Hey, he didn't wanna bees. All I know wanted to bees on that point. In fact, many dollars have been killed. There were many pretenders claiming to bizarre It was it was. It was total chaos and no one wanted this job at that point. So he actually resisted taking the job, But in the end, he was virtually forced to take it on. And he very successfully somehow with the with the assistance of top boils and generals. He restored autocracy and that began to re conquer and then expand the empire. And, you know, the Romanoff would become probably the most successful dynasty of modern times. We have a son, Alexey, who's successful as well and marries twice, Mila loss, Kaya and now rush Kina. And these are the two mothers that go in different directions were going very quickly now because we want to get to Peter The first Peter, however, how he's will will have an older And rival half sister Sophia, whom he has to be very careful about. She rules from 16 82 to 6 to 16 89. She's not eight. Serena. She's not an Empress. She's just in charge of everything. He has a half brothers. Well, Ivan the fifth who is feeble minded, I'm concentrating on Peter here, Peter Right away the way you present him, Simon. Prepares himself to beat Sardo. I read that correctly and his even in his games, he constructs battalions. Yes, I mean, everything. Everything about Peter. The great is extraordinary. Everything is larger than life. Everything is a visionary and brilliant And yet everything is terrifying and dark about him as well. He's One of those politicians who from a young age knows what he wants to do understands what needs to be done to make it happen and then have the cumin. Make it happen. So those sort of you know those three things you need the politician. He has ALS three. Unfortunately, he manages to find the resources to do these things and basically The first thing he wants to do from from his young youngest childhood is to be a great general and for Russia to be a great military and naval power, so he builds a new Russian navy and he learned modern warfare from the West. And he promotes Western technology Western generals. He loves Western girls, a lot of Dutch bear and German girls, and he spent all his time with Westerners and Have you in Russia with reformers? What is really about is the reformer really is not trying to introduce Western democracy in which in any that value in any case didn't exist. What they're trying to get his Western technology, Western guns and ships to use against the West to promote Russia and Peter does that, but he does it with despotism with cruelty with dynamism. Hey, anyone who crosses him two of his uncles. He taught us to death when the security matters to be looked into. He handles the torturing himself. He's absolutely ruthless. He When there's a rebellion against him. He beheads the man himself. Even when one of his ex mistresses is arrested, he handled the execution. He walked into the execution on then, when she's dead, he lives up ahead and kisses it and gives an anatomy lesson to the crowd. So he's really a kind of spooky character and yet absolutely brilliant, too, And he changes Russia for everybody really makes Russia a great power. He's a transition peak figure in your telling Simon from the medieval horrors. To the modern technology, technocratic state. He's somewhere in between, and I can see him switching these scenes. Let's talk about him, killing it, Son, Alexey, whom he regarded as both weak and rebellious, he lures Alexey Come back, he tells tells him lies and when he comes back He then tortures Alexey tortures. All of his friends wipes out every pay everything around him as a as an expression of state power. Is that how to read that he was being he was using an apparatus. Also an expression of state of personal power. I mean, Alexey runs away from Russia on in loose conversations, talks about a coup against his father. What is also representing is the old way. The old Muscovite ways He disapproves of Peter's aggression off his western technology of his western society. You know everything about Peter..