War and Peace

Front Cover
Penguin Books, 1968 - Fiction - 1456 pages
1002 Reviews
Eschewing the "great man" theory of history, Tolstoy shows how events are determined by large numbers of people whose actions coalesce at any moment in history to determine the course of events. Arguing that the closer people are to a situation the more they believe they have exercised free will, and the farther away people are from that situation the more they realize that their actions were already determined by past events, Tolstoy demonstrates the theory by means of the characters and actions. There is single protagonist. Rather, from among the more than five hundred and fifty characters, both real and imagined, several major families interact with one another: the Rostovs, the Bolkonskys, the Kuragins, the Drubetskoys, and Pierre Bezuhov, the natural son of a Russian nobleman. From among these families, a few male and female characters emerge who become focal points for the narrative: the men--Nikolay Rostov, Andrey Bolkonsky, Boris Drubetskoy, Anatole Kuragin--and the women--Natasha Rostova, Marya Bolkonskaya, and Helene Kuragin. If the reader must narrow the cast of characters even further, the two who stand at the very center from the beginning of the novel to its end are Pierre and Natasha, who after many tribulations are finally married at the novel's conclusion. Other important characters are Kutuzov, the great Russian general who drives Napoleon (the French) out of Russia by understanding that he must allow events to happen as they will, and the Russian peasant, Platon Karatayev, who teaches Pierre much the same lesson. As the title suggests, the novel is built upon a series of contrasts. Tolstoy balances nonmilitary actions with military actions even to the point of interweaving peaceful interludes during the time that all Russia is at war. Balanced also are alternations in mood: Rapture is balanced with despair, joy with care and trouble, and death with birth.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

The writing is often masterly and quite easy to read. - weRead
Disappointed by the ending. - weRead
It's just a love story. - weRead
Very good so far, easy to read - weRead
Interesting, but difficult to read when you are 14! - weRead
The characterization is amazing. - weRead

Review: War and Peace

User Review  - Jason Koivu - Goodreads

Love That was the one thing I thought was missing from Leo Tolstoy's title, War and Peace. I was wrong. Love is in the title, you just have to look for it. Certainly there is love in peace. It is the ... Read full review

Review: War and Peace

User Review  - Litchick - Goodreads

This is the book that never ends. Yes it goes on and on, my friends. Some people started reading it not knowing what it was, And they'll continue reading it forever just because This is the book that ... Read full review

All 1002 reviews »

Related books

Other editions - View all

References to this book

The Social Animal
Elliot Aronson
Limited preview - 2003
All Book Search results »

References from web pages

War and Peace - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
War and Peace (Russian: Война и мир, Voyna i mir) is a novel by Leo Tolstoy, first published from 1865 to 1869 in Russkii Vestnik (Russian: Русский Вестник, ...
en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ War_and_Peace

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Search, Read, Study, Discuss.
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Searchable etext. Discuss with other readers.
www.online-literature.com/ tolstoy/ war_and_peace/

War and Peace by graf Leo Tolstoy - Project Gutenberg
Download the free ebook: War and Peace by graf Leo Tolstoy.
www.gutenberg.org/ etext/ 2600

Bibliomania: Free Online Literature and Study Guides
800+ texts of classic literature, drama, and poetry together with detailed literature study guides. Large reference book and non-fiction section
www.bibliomania.com/ Fiction/ Tolstoy/ WarAndPeace/ index.html

Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy. 1828-1910. Count Leo Tolstoy was baptized Orthodox into a life of privilege and wealth in Czarist Russia in 1828. His young adulthood is best ...
flag.blackened.net/ daver/ anarchism/ tolstoy/

Planet PDF - Free PDF ebooks - War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
'Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes. But I warn you, if you don't tell me that this means war, if you still try ...
www.planetpdf.com/ ebookarticle.asp?ContentID=6188

Tolstoy Loves Me
I demonstrate a remarkable matching between my name and my date of birth in the Hebrew translation of War and Peace. A rigorous method of analysis produces ...
cs.anu.edu.au/ ~bdm/ dilugim/ wpmckay.html

Special Coverage: Tolstoy's 'War and Peace'
Details about the history, publication and themes of Tolstoy's novel 'War and Peace'
www2.oprah.com/ obc_classic/ featbook/ anna/ author/ anna_author_war.jhtml

'War and Peace' Sparks a Literary Skirmish : NPR
Dueling versions of one of the world's great novels have created a book-world furor. One new edition calls itself the "original version
www.npr.org/ templates/ story/ story.php?storyId=15524432

War and Peace: Information and Much More from Answers.com
War and Peace Contents: Author Biography Plot Summary Characters Themes Style Historical Context Critical Overview Criticism Sources For Further Study.
www.answers.com/ topic/ war-and-peace

About the author (1968)

Count Leo Tolstoy was born on September 9, 1828, in Yasnaya Polyana, Russia. Orphaned at nine, he was brought up by an elderly aunt and educated by French tutors until he matriculated at Kazan University in 1844. In 1847, he gave up his studies and, after several aimless years, volunteered for military duty in the army, serving as a junior officer in the Crimean War before retiring in 1857. In 1862, Tolstoy married Sophie Behrs, a marriage that was to become, for him, bitterly unhappy. His diary, started in 1847, was used for self-study and self-criticism; it served as the source from which he drew much of the material that appeared not only in his great novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877), but also in his shorter works. Seeking religious justification for his life, Tolstoy evolved a new Christianity based upon his own interpretation of the Gospels. Yasnaya Polyana became a mecca for his many converts At the age of eighty-two, while away from home, the writer suffered a break down in his health in Astapovo, Riazan, and he died there on November 20, 1910.

Bibliographic information