In 1851 Leo Tolstoy enlisted in the Russian army and was sent to the Caucasus to help defeat the Chechens. During this war a great Avar chieftain, Hadji Murád, broke with the Chechen leader Shamil and fled to the Russians for safety. Months later, while attempting to rescue his family from Shamil’s prison, Hadji Murád was pursued by those he had betrayed and, after fighting the most heroic battle of his life, was killed.
Tolstoy, witness to many of the events leading to Hadji Murád’s death, set down this story with painstaking accuracy to preserve for future generations the horror, nobility, and destruction inherent in war.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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aide-de-camp Akhmet Khan aoul asked Avar Avdéev AZAR NAFISI Bata began beshmét brother bullet búrka Butler Caucasian Caucasus Chechens Chechnya Chernyshóv Circassian coat commander comrades Cossacks dagger Daghestan death door Eldár entered eyes face father feeling fired followed Gamzálo Ghazavát Hadji Murád Hamzád hand head heard henchmen horse Imám interpreter Kámenev Khan Mahomá Khanéfi Khansha Khunzákh killed knew Kozlóvsky Kumyk kunák legs Leo Tolstoy lived looked Lóris-Mélikov Mary Dmítrievna Mary Vasílevna mosque mother mountaineers murids Nazárov Nicholas Nicholas’s Nikítin Nukhá officer ordered Panóv pleased Poltorátsky Prince Vorontsóv Prince’s Princess replied returned rifle rode roubles round Russians Sado sáklya sent Shamil silent smile smoke soldiers song story surrender sword Tartar tell thee thou Tiflis told Tolstoy Tolstoy’s took turban turned Umma Khan vódka voice Vorontsóv wanted wife wish wounded Yasnaya Polyana young Yusúf