The Pulitzer prizewinning biography of Peter the Great, the ruler who brought Russia from darkness into light. Against the monumental canvas of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe and Russia, Robert K. Massie unfolds the extraordinary story of Peter the Great. A volatile feudal tsar with a taste for barbaric torture; a progressive and enlightened reformer of government and science; Peter the Great embodied the greatest strengths and weaknesses of Russia while being at the very forefront of her development. Robert K. Massie delves deep into Peter's life and character, chronicling the pivotal events that transformed the boy star into a national icon. His portrayal of the complexities and contradictions of this most energetic of Russian rulers brings a towering historical figure unforgettably to life.