Tsars and Imposters: Russia's Time of Troubles

Tsars and Imposters: Russia's Time of Troubles

Tsars and Imposters: Russia's Time of Troubles

Tsars and Imposters: Russia's Time of Troubles


Russia in its "time of troubles," 1598-1613, is the subject of prolific freelance writer Shubin's new book. The author describes this work as his translation and adaptation into English of a variety of famous works, which he actually lists, a welcome departure from the common practice of a number of best-selling popular histories, such as Henri Troyat's Ivan le Terrible (1982), which shamelessly raided the pages of famous historians like N.M. Karamzin with scarcely a nod. However, Shubin's method does not conform to the standards of professional history, and it raises obvious questions about intended readership. In addition, the lack of any but discursive or informative footnotes makes it difficult to know who is being translated and adapted. Actually, The "author" (if that is the proper term here) has arranged the material better than one would expect, and even made it useful for totally uninformed readers just setting out to explore the subject. However it would be so much better for beginners to turn to complete translations of Shubin's sources, a number of which long have been available from Academic International Press.


In the entirety of Russia’s tumultuous history, no era compares to the turbulent period that began March 18, 1584, the day of Tsar Ivan the Terrible’s death, and ended July 11, 1613, the day Mikhail Feodorovich Romanov was crowned as tsar. During the first half of this 30-year period Russia endured more success and prosperity, and then during the second half endured more devastation, havoc and upheaval, than in any other period of the same length. This book is its record.


This history is the author’s translation and adaptation into English of selections from the following texts, all in Russian.

Karamzin, Nikolai Mikhailovich, Istoria Gosudarstva Rossiiskogo,
volumes 10, 11 and 12, St. Petersburg 1892; Moscow, 2004.

Kostomarov, Nikolai Ivanovich, Russkaya Istoria v Zhizneopisaniyakh
ee Glavneishikh Deyatelei
, Ves: St. Petersburg, 2005. Originally pub
lished 1873–1888.

Skrynnikov, Ruslan Grigoryevich, Ivan Grozni, Boris Godunov, Vasili
, Izdatel’stvo Nauka: Moscow, 2005.

Skrynnikov, Ruslan Grigoryevich, Smutnoye Vremya, Moscow,

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