War and Peace, Volume 1

Front Cover
Thomas Y. Crowell Pub., 1889 - 7430 pages
Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic Wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy's genius is seen clearly in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle--all of them fully realized and equally memorable. Out of this complex narrative emerges a profound examination of the individual's place in the historical process, one that makes it clear why Thomas Mann praised Tolstoy for his Homeric powers and placed War and Peace in the same category as the Iliad": " "To read him . . . is to find one's way home . . . to everything within us that is fundamental and sane."
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - keithhamblen - LibraryThing

12/22/20 I own the complete set (vol 1-54) and keep them at home on the top west shelf of my office; this includes The Great Conversation (which is volume 1) and The Great Ideas (volumes 2-3, the ... Read full review

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User Review  - donbuch1 - LibraryThing

This classic series represents the Western canon not without academic controversy. The latest volumes of the Great Books include some women writers, but they are still definitely underrepresented ... Read full review

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About the author (1889)

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was born on September 9, 1828 in Russia. He is usually referred to as Leo Tolstoy. He was a Russian author who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. Leo Tolstoy is best known for his novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). Tolstoy's fiction includes dozens of short stories and several novellas such as The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Family Happiness, and Hadji Murad. He also wrote plays and numerous philosophical essays. Tolstoy had a profound moral crisis and spiritual awakening in the 1870's which he outlined in his work, A Confession. His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him to become a fervent Christian anarchist and pacifist. His ideas of nonviolent resistance which he shared in his works The Kingdom of God is Within You, had a profund impact on figures such as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. On September 23, 1862 Tolstoy married Sophia Andreevna Behrs. She was the daughter of a court physician. They had 13 children, eight of whom survived childhood. Their early married life allowed Tolstoy much freedom to compose War and Peace and Anna Karenina with his wife acting as his secretary and proofreader. The Tolstoy family left Russia in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution and the subsequent establishment of the Soviet Union. Leo Tolstoy's relatives and descendants moved to Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and the United States. Tolstoy died of pneumonia at Astapovo train station, after a day's rail journey south on November 20, 1910 at the age of 82.

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