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By David A. Clarke Jr.
Blame Washington's intelligence failure, not lack of police
Topic - Emmanuel Ducamp
Emmanuel Ducamp, a distinguished historian of 18th- and 19th-century Russian history, prefaces his magnificently illustrated study of the Romanov dynasty's version of the celebrated Trianon of the Palace of Versailles with a poignant memory of a past visit.
Finding himself in Leningrad on an icy winter day when the thermometer was plunging past 13 degrees below zero, he writes, "I had a flash of inspiration: I would go to Pushkin. Russia was still in the Soviet era, St. Petersburg had not yet had its imperial name restored, and the palaces of Tsarskoye Selo were still known by the name of the great Russian poet, a name they had been given by the Soviet government in 1937 in an attempt to wipe away memories of their close links with the Russian imperial family. Tsarskoye Selo -- it need hardly be said -- means village of the tsar."
"Who could remain unmoved by treasures such as these," he writes, "by their magnificent defiance of all measure and reason?"