"The American historian Douglas Smith has produced a large, eight-hundred-page monograph, both rich in ideas and brilliantly written, that thanks to its meticulous study of the archives helps to separate fact from fiction and should become the definitive work on Rasputin."
— Kerstin Holm, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany)
"Perceptive in its human portraits, penetrating in its political analysis, brilliantly researched, and enlivened by a crazed cast of degenerate priests, whores, charlatans, adventurers, mystics, murderers, and a completely overburdened and incompetent Tsar Nicholas II, Smith has presented a riveting portrayal of Grigory Rasputin, whose end brought with it the finale of the tsars' empire."
— Theodor Kissel, Frankfurt Live (Germany)
"Breathtaking ... a stunning book. A tale of despair and senseless cruelty but also of courage and sacrifice."
— de Volkskrant (Netherlands)
— La Razon (Spain)
"A book with the suppleness of the best fiction and the solidity of historical reality."
— La Nacion (Argentina)
"Humiliated, insulted, murdered. The revolution struck the Russian aristocracy with all its fury. Historian Douglas Smith describes its destruction in Former People, an enthralling book that reads practically like a novel."
— Deutschlandradio Kultur (Germany)