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Best of the Book Nook: A Memorial Tribute To Robert K. Massie


In 2012 I had an opportunity to interview Robert K. Massie. The author was probably best known for his blockbuster biography of the last monarchs of imperial Russia, the doomed "Nicholas and Alexandra." Massie had also written a highly regarded biography of another czar, Peter the Great. 8 years ago he published another monumental biography of a Russian ruler in "Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman" and he joined me on the telephone to talk about the paperback release of what ultimately became his final book. Massie died earlier this month.

That day as we delved into that deeply fascinating subject we had agreed that we would be doing a 30 minute-long interview. At the end of that time I realized we had barely scratched the surface of the history of this remarkable woman and since the author was holding forth upon it with such zest and delight I paused to ask him if he might be willing to continue and record a second 30 minute-long interview? He assented to my request eagerly. That day we recorded an hour's worth of conversation about "Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman" and he seemed to enjoy our talk as much as I did. What a generous man he was. This memorial program is an edited version of both interviews merged together.

The Book Nook on WYSO is presented by the Greene County Public Library with additional support from Washington-Centerville Public Library,  Clark County Public LibraryDayton Metro LibraryWright Memorial Public Library, and Microsun Lamps.


Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them. Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.