Glorious Misadventures: Nikolai Rezanov and the Dream of Russian America

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Bloomsbury, Jan 1, 2013 - HISTORY - 384 pages
The Russian Empire once extended deep into America: in 1818 Russia's furthest outposts were in California and Hawaii. The dreamer behind this great Imperial vision was Nikolai Rezanov - diplomat, adventurer, courtier, millionaire and gambler. His quest to plant Russian colonies from Siberia to California led him to San Francisco, where he was captivated by Conchita, the fifteen-year-old daughter of the Spanish Governor, who embodied his dreams of both love and empire. From the glittering court of Catherine the Great to the wilds of the New World, Matthews conjures a brilliantly original portrait of one of Russia's most eccentric Empire-builders.

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User Review  - JBD1 - LibraryThing

An entirely serviceable, if workmanlike, account of Nikolai Rezanov's life and adventures in Russian America. The narrative gets a bit plodding at a few points, but generally moves along quite nicely ... Read full review

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User Review  - archangelsbooks - LibraryThing

This is one of the most entertaining histories I have ever read. Glorious Misadventures is the perfect title because Nikolai Rezanov was so far ahead of his time in terms of his vision of what could ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Owen Matthews was born in London and spent part of his childhood in America. He studied Modern History at Oxford University before beginning his career as a journalist in Bosnia. In 1995 he accepted a job at The Moscow Times, a daily English-language newspaper. He also freelanced for a number of publications including The Times, the Spectator and the Independent. In 1997, he became a correspondent at Newsweek magazine in Moscow where he covered the second Chechen war, as well as politics and society. Owen was also one of the first journalists to witness the start of the US bombing in the Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan, 2001, and went on to cover the invasion of Iraq, 2003. His first book on Russian history, Stalin's Children, was published to great critical acclaim in 2008. Owen is currently Newsweek magazine's bureau chief in Moscow, where he lives with his wife and two children.

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