The Fixer Historical Context

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Tsar Nicholas II

Nicholas II (1868-1918), who makes a brief appearance in Yakov's dream near the end of this novel, was the last tsar of Russia (the word is also translated as "czar"). He was driven from the throne and executed shortly after the events of The Fixer take place. To a large extent, it was Nicholas's arrogance and foolishness that brought about the Communist Revolution in Russia, although it is also likely that the country's weak economy would have crumbled under even the most competent monarch. Nicholas was a descendant of the Romanov dynasty, whose rule reached back to 1547, when the grand duke of Muscovy, Ivan IV (1530-1584), had himself crowned czar (the Russian word for "caesar"). His grand nephew, Ivan VI (1740-1764), was the first tsar with the Romanov name, a name that was passed down to Russian rulers until Nicholas was deposed. Nicholas himself became...

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