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Ian Young

The circumstances in which the Emperor Nicholas decided to send troops into Hungary in 1849, writes Ian Young, were remarkably similar to those which brought Soviet tanks swarming over the Carpathians in November 1956.

Ian Young explains the many guises of Russia's Romanov ruler: in Napoleon’s caustic phrase, “the Talma of the North”; according to Chateaubriand, “a strong soul and a feeble character”; styled by Pushkin as, “the Sphinx who took his riddle with him to the grave”; Alexander began his life as a liberal visionary and ended it as an impassioned champion of the autocratic principle.