Was Peter All That Great?

Peter the Great: His Life and World

by Robert K. Massie
Few rulers are believed to have done so much to reshape and redirect their nation’s destiny as did Peter I, tsar of Muscovy and emperor of All the Russias (born 1672, ruler de jure 1682, died 1725). Whatever their differences, both his contemporaries and subsequent writers—poets, novelists, historians, publicists—agree that …