Tribute to Tolstoy

imagesBorn today September 9th 1828
Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy
(Usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy) was a Russian aristocrat and one of the world’s most preeminent writers. Tolstoy become famous through his epic novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina.


“We can know only that we know nothing.
And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.” (
War and Peace)

Tolstoy’s fictional work 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.

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” (
Anna Karenina)

Towards the end of his life, Leo Tolstoy became increasingly interested in a version of pacifist Christianity with support for a strand of anarchist Communism. His exposition of pacifism and non-violence had a profound influence on others – most notably Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
This prompted his non-fiction work;
A Confession and The Kingdom of God is Within You.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”



17 thoughts on “Tribute to Tolstoy

  1. I have only read one thing by Tolstoy – War and Peace. I read it for a college class and we took an entire semester to get through it. I liked it very much, but I definitely needed the professor’s help to understand it. I should try something new – Anna Karenina – I saw the PBS series years ago and it was great!

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  2. Pingback: Tribute to Tolstoy | Donmaker's Blog

  3. Happy Birthday Leo! I adore his philosophy and, admittedly, need to read much more of his fiction. I’ve enjoyed all I read and have several more volumes on the shelf. But his view of the world and of humanity are both captivating. I think there’s a great deal of truth to it, as well as an inherent challenge to us all. Great post!

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  4. Pingback: Tribute to Tolstoy – worldtraveller70

  5. Did you know Leo Tolstoy later renounced these earlier masterpieces beloved by the world, calling then worldly trash. If you want to know Tolstoy and the power that was guiding his hand, it would behoove all readers to read his other works, namely, ‘Resurrection’, ‘Death of Ivan Ilyich’ and ‘A Confession.’

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