Saturday, March 2, 2013

"I WAS RASPUTIN'S SECRETARY"

I have the great, good fortune to be editing a new book written by the great-niece of Rasputin's secretary, Aron Simanovitch: Delin Colon (author of Rasputin and the Jews: A Reversal of History). In it, Simanovitch shares intimate details about Rsputin and the Romanovs that are absolutely stunning for what they reveal about these highly guarded individuals. Simanovitch had access to the Czar through Rasputin's close association, and as a result we get to see what the Tsar was like as a man, his fatal flaws and his predilections, which brings a greater understanding of the decisions he made and those that he allowed others to make in his behalf.

Although I am sharing some of these details out of chronological order, they are nonetheless fascinating. This morning I was reading Simanovitch's assessment of the Tsar as a man who trusted no one over the age of two years old. After that age, he believed, children begin to lie. That led him to trust no one (although, in truth, he had good reason for feeling this way) and for others to lose confidence in him as one never knew if he would keep a promise today that he made the day before.

For all of the negative things written and said about Rasputin, what Simanovitch's diaries (on which the book is based) reveal is that Rasputin had his flaws (womanizing, in particular) but he was an honorable man who said what he believed and upheld his promises. He tried to help the Tsar though his difficult challenges (and was actually the one person whom Nicholas II did trust), and strongly berated him for inappropriate actions and behavior, treating the Tsar, more so than did the Tsar's own mother, the Dowager Empress, who wanted to have him deposed, like a loving parent trying to give guidance to the Tsar that he only occasionally followed.

I am so thrilled to have the chance to work on this manuscript in its earliest form, and look forward to sharing more remarkable revelations from it.

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