Grigory Rasputin has long been a legendary figure, surrounded by sensational stories of power, wealth, and extravagances. Hold on to that thought, because I will return to it shortly.
I am generally interested in good nonfiction, provided that it isn’t dry, dusty going. Having just finished Rasputin and the Jews: A Reversal of History by Delin Colon, I have to recommend it as a stellar piece of nonfiction for several reasons.
First, the writing itself is impressive. Her skills as a writer aid her argumentation as well as the reader’s experience. Delin is articulate and her smooth sentences make for uninterpreted reading. Though the book is compact, it is not difficult reading because every paragraph matters and generally each one reveals some new and previously-unknown element of Rasputin’s life.
Second, the book is fascinating. The fall of the Romanov Empire, the folly and evils of the aristocracy, the truth about Rasputin himself….Being the great-great niece of Aron Simanovitch, Rasputin’s secretary, Delin has an intriguing, well-supported story to tell and she clearly communicates its importance. Additionally, it’s fascinating because of its complexity- the story is not a simple one.
Third, this book comes well-supported. Delin’s argument is clear, her reasoning is logical, and her sources (nearly 30) are varied in their biases and context is given for each one. The multitude of evidence she presents is convincing and thought-provoking. As I mentioned earlier, Rasputin has long been a sensational historical figure. In Rasputin and the Jews, Delin Colon clears the mud of sensationalism off Grigory Rasputin and shows readers a humble man of God who fought for equality and peace at the cost of his own life.
If you are interested in history or social justice, teach history, like to be challenged by new perspectives, or want to discover something new, read “Rasputin and the Jews: A Reversal of History.”