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Tolstoy On War (eBook)

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  • 100,217 Words
  • 256 Pages

In 1812, Napoleon launched his fateful invasion of Russia. Five decades later, Leo Tolstoy published War and Peace, a fictional representation of the era that is one of the most celebrated novels in world literature. The novel contains a coherent (though much disputed) philosophy of history and portrays the history and military strategy of its time in a manner that offers lessons for the soldiers of today. To mark the two hundredth anniversary of the French invasion of Russia and acknowledge the importance of Tolstoy’s novel for our historical memory of its central events, Rick McPeak and Donna Tussing Orwin have assembled a distinguished group of scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds—literary criticism, history, social science, and philosophy—to provide fresh readings of the novel.

The essays in Tolstoy On War focus primarily on the novel’s depictions of war and history, and the range of responses suggests that these remain inexhaustible topics of debate. The result is a volume that opens fruitful new avenues of understanding War and Peace while providing a range of perspectives and interpretations without parallel in the vast literature on the novel.

In 1812, Napoleon launched his fateful invasion of Russia. Five decades later, Leo Tolstoy published War and Peace, a fictional representation of the era that is one of the most celebrated novels in world literature. The novel contains a coherent (though much disputed) philosophy of history and portrays the history and military strategy of its time in a manner that offers lessons for the soldiers of today. To mark the two hundredth anniversary of the French invasion of Russia and acknowledge the importance of Tolstoy’s novel for our historical memory of its central events, Rick McPeak and Donna Tussing Orwin have assembled a distinguished group of scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds—literary criticism, history, social science, and philosophy—to provide fresh readings of the novel.

The essays in Tolstoy On War focus primarily on the novel’s depictions of war and history, and the range of responses suggests that these remain inexhaustible topics of debate. The result is a volume that opens fruitful new avenues of understanding War and Peace while providing a range of perspectives and interpretations without parallel in the vast literature on the novel.


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by rick mcpeak, Donna Tussing Orwin

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