Catherine the Great

I had a basic understanding of Catherine’s (her birth name was actually Sophia) story from The Romanovs. This was a much deeper dive into her story, chronicling the journey of this minor German princess to the Russian throne. She ended up becoming more loyal to Russia than I think anyone could have expected, and worked during her reign to improve conditions for the peasantry. Interestingly, she tried to end the practice of serfdom, but had a tough uphill battle. Eventually, after a rebellion, she changed her position entirely and never tried to abolish it again. (View on Amazon)

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