Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Review of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Novel, History
Intriguing Connections = Some Type of Romance


“’Can one be well while suffering morally?  Can one be calm in times like these if one has any feelings? Said Ana Pavlovna.’” – Leo Tolstoy, Page 9

“Here the conversation seemed interesting and he stood waiting for an opportunity to express his own views, as young people are fond of doing.” – Leo Tolstoy, Page 18

“The activity of Alexander or of Napoleon cannot be called useful or harmful, for it is impossible to say for what it was useful or harmful.  If that activity displeases somebody, this is only because it does not agree with his limited understanding of what is good.” – Leo Tolstoy, Page 1665

Short Description

Elaborate Description

There are different reasons to go to war.  For some it is to prove something.  For others it is duty.  No matter the reason, what is certain is that war changes people.  While what happens during peace is vastly different, war seems not to be far behind.  During peace the mood is calm and people do what they can to fulfil their obligations and expectations.  Following different characters with vastly different backgrounds throughout times of war and peace gives this story depth.  Seeing how they change to the times.  Seeing the different types of relations between elites and peasants.  While presenting philosophical and religious topics.  

Although the writing is not that difficult to read, the book has poor flow.  Having background knowledge of Russian and French history, particularly Napoleon’s war with Russia, would make the book more understandable. 

Questions to Consider while Reading the Book
•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?
•Why do nations go to war?  Why did France got to war?  Why did Russia?
•Why do people go to war?
•What happens during war?
•What happens during peace?
•What is the relationship between elites and the peasants? 
•What is the situation with Natasha and her suitors? 
•Do the characters change over the course of the book?  How do they change or stay the same?
•How to love someone? 
•How is history understood? 

Book Details
Edition ISBN:  9788835371755
Pages to read:   1784
Publication:     2020
1st Edition:      1867
Format:           eBook

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    3
Content          2
Overall           2