History, Biography, and Human Agency


With more than six million books sold worldwide, Robert K. Massie is widely regarded as the foremost expert on the Russian royal family. He is also a respected authority on World War I military history and is a past president of the Author's Guild.

Massie studied American history at Yale University and modern European history at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Massie worked as a journalist for Newsweek from 1959-1962 before taking a position at the Saturday Evening Post.

His first book Nicholas and Alexandra, a biography of the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, and his wife, Alexandra of Hesse, remained on the New York Times Bestseller List for 46 weeks, was translated into seventeen languages, and made into a film nominated for nine Academy Awards. Over six million copies of this book have been sold around the world.

In 1981, Massie was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Peter the Great. This book inspired a 1986 NBC mini-series that won three Emmy Awards, His most recent book, Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman, was published in November 2011 and has been awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Non-Fiction by the American Library Association.

Robert Massie is this year’s Ricardo J. Quinones Distinguished Lecturer and his campus visit is sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies.