War and Peace simple family tree War and Peace detailed family tree Natasha Rostova, a postcard by Elisabeth Bohm The novel tells the story of five families—the Bezukhovs, the Bolkonskys, the Rostovs, the Kuragins, and the Drubetskoys.
Book Cover By the time of France's invasion of Russia, Napoleon had already conquered most of Europe and made it part of France's empire, and now he wanted to annex Russia. Tolstoy tells how he succeeded in conquering Moscow, but his conquest led to the destruction of his own army, and eventually his defeat at Waterloo.
But that's not all. Tolstoy's philosophy of history and war and peace is scattered throughout the book. Furthermore, unlike many historians, Tolstoy understood mathematics and science, and used that understanding to show how great events in history by momentum rather than by politicians or generals, even a general as powerful as Napoleon.
Tolstoy's brilliant study of Napoleon's campaign gives us a sounding board to elucidate further aspects of the generational methodology for analyzing history.
In particular, where Tolstoy identifies the momentum that drove the campaign, he doesn't address the question of where the momentum comes from.
We'll show that it comes from a war that was a crisis war for one side Napoleon's and a mid-cycle war for the other side. In doing so, we'll address the issue of the difference between generationally driven events and chaotically driven events.
Why did Napoleon invade Russia? The particular question of why Napoleon invaded Russia at all is subsumed under the more general question of why any nation has to invade any other nation. It's clear that Tolstoy is confused about both the particular and the general questions, and despairs at trying to find answers.
Napoleon Bonaparte Tolstoy was born inand fought in the Crimean War in the s, so he well knew the horrors of war. Look at how he describes Napoleon's buildup of forces on the Russian border, in anticipation of the war that began on June 12, This is clearly an anti-war statement: From the close of the year intensified arming and concentrating of the forces of Western Europe began, and in these forces - millions of men, reckoning those transporting and feeding the army - moved from the west eastwards to the Russian frontier, toward which since Russian forces had been similarly drawn.
On the twelfth of June,the forces of Western Europe crossed the Russian frontier and war began, that is, an event took place opposed to human reason and to human nature. Millions of men perpetrated against one another such innumerable crimes, frauds, treacheries, thefts, forgeries, issues of false money, burglaries, incendiarisms, and murders as in whole centuries are not recorded in the annals of all the law courts of the world, but which those who committed them did not at the time regard as being crimes.
Like many people, Tolstoy felt that war was senseless, and he could not understand why Napoleon would even want to invade. Many people consider a war to be an almost accidental thing -- someone gets pissed off at someone and decides to start a war.
The book you're reading refutes that idea, but Tolstoy seemed to believe it thoroughly.
In the following paragraph, Tolstoy makes the point that different parties see completely different causes for Napoleon's invasion. You don't have to understand the meaning of each of the causes mentioned by Tolstoy to get the thrust of his point.
Read his description of the various causes of the war without worrying about the specific names and events, and just feel his frustration in describing the causes: It naturally seemed to Napoleon that the war was caused by England's intrigues as in fact he said on the island of St.
It naturally seemed to members of the English Parliament that the cause of the war was Napoleon's ambition; to the Duke of Oldenburg, that the cause of the war was the violence done to him; to businessmen that the cause of the war was the Continental System which was ruining Europe; to the generals and old soldiers that the chief reason for the war was the necessity of giving them employment; to the legitimists of that day that it was the need of re-establishing les bons principes, and to the diplomatists of that time that it all resulted from the fact that the alliance between Russia and Austria in had not been sufficiently well concealed from Napoleon, and from the awkward wording of Memorandum No.
It is natural that these and a countless and infinite quantity of other reasons, the number depending on the endless diversity of points of view, presented themselves to the men of that day; but to us, to posterity who view the thing that happened in all its magnitude and perceive its plain and terrible meaning, these causes seem insufficient.
To us it is incomprehensible that millions of Christian men killed and tortured each other either because Napoleon was ambitious or Alexander was firm, or because England's policy was astute or the Duke of Oldenburg wronged.
We cannot grasp what connection such circumstances have with the actual fact of slaughter and violence: Was Napoleon's attack really "incomprehensible," as Tolstoy claims? A war does not occur because of a few random provocations. Various attacks, assassinations, and so forth occur all the time.
Usually these provocations are contained.
But a "pressure cooker" atmosphere builds up over decades, and finally the pressure cooker explodes into war -- in roughly year cycles. Writing the epic historical novel War and Peace, you would think that it would have occurred to Tolstoy to relate Napoleon's campaigns to historical campaigns of the past, but he evidently didn't.
France and England had been at war almost continuously for centuries. Many of these were distant wars over colonies, especially in America and India, but the most recent crisis war was the War of Spanish Succession that took place inas described in chapter 8 p.
That war, which engulfed all of Europe, ended with a treaty that the statesmen of the time signed because they wanted to avoid for as long as possible another conflict such as the one that had just ended.
The borders established by that treaty held until the French Revolution began inand that previous war was re-fought with a vengeance when Napoleon came to power in To the generals and old soldiers the chief reason for the war was the necessity of giving them employment Now, understanding that background, let's go back to Tolstoy's list of causes given above, and see why the invasion of Russia had to occur: To members of the English Parliament that the cause of the war was Napoleon's ambition.Then novel War and Peace was written by a famous Russian author Leo Tolstoy in The novel describes the war with Napoleon in which many countries were involved such as Russia, Austrian, Prussia, Spain, Sweden, and Britain.
About War and Peace. About Leo Tolstoy. Leo Tolstoy (–) was born in central Russia. After serving in the Crimean War, he retired to his estate and devoted himself to writing, farming, and raising his large family. His novels and outspoken social polemics brought him world fame. A War and Peace for our time Read more 3 The novel has a particular technical feature; it passes from mind to mind, showing us the world as a consciousness moves through it.
War and Peace provides ample background as to the war that is taking place, describing in detail the events leading up to the war, the reason for it, the points of view and particularities of both sides involved, Let us write or edit the essay on your topic "Comparison of Leo Tolstoys War and Peace and A Prisoner in the Caucasus" with a.
Tolstoy's philosophy of history and war and peace is scattered throughout the book. Furthermore, unlike many historians, Tolstoy understood mathematics and science, and used that understanding to show how great events in history by momentum rather than by politicians or generals, even a .
War and Peace study guide contains a biography of Leo Tolstoy, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.