Russia: The Czar Who Wouldn't Die

On the grey, gull-studded morning of Dec. 1, 1825, the Azov seaport of Taganrog echoed to the tolling of death bells. Alexander I, conqueror of Napoleon, keystone of the Holy Alliance, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, was dead at 48. With him had passed the hopes of the peasantry for reforms and freedoms that he had long espoused; after him came an era of intermittent repression and misrule that led finally to the Bolshevik Revolution. But had Alexander really died? Last week in Moscow, a Soviet writer once again exhumed a...

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