This polemical work treats Tolstoy as one of the midwives of modern counterculture and reassesses his enduring influence. Boot argues that Tolstoy’s philosophy was based on a metaphysical blunder and tries to correct preconceived notions of Tolstoy’s work. Through a unique examination of Tolstoy’s religious beliefs, Boot arrives at the conclusion that Tolstoy was not a Christian, as widely thought, but a self-deifying atheist and nihilist. These traits are traced back to Tolstoy’s personality which, according to the psychiatric report used in the book, may have been influenced by mental instability. From these new angles on Tolstoy, the book is able to shed light into the historical and intellectual landscape of Russia.