Romanov Family

TIME’s March 5, 1945, edition carried something unusual in its pages: a “political fairy story” called “The Ghosts on the Roof” — most recently cited as a top piece in Time: 85 Years of Great Writing (2008).

Seven ghosts settle on the roof of the Livadia Palace at Yalta, where they are accosted by Clio, Muse of History. “Madam, I am Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias…” “Nicholas—how nice to see you again! …Wherever have you been?” Once they catch up, however, History learns to her great surprise of the Tsar’s new political stripes…

As shockingly prescient and as wickedly funny now as it was nearly 70 years ago, please plunge pleasantly into “The Ghosts on the Roof.”

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