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The Death of Ivan Ilyich Sevastopol Sketches Resurrection The Cossacks A Confession What I Believe Read Next. Tolstoy's later work derives a passion and verve from the depth of his austere moral views. Gorky relates how Tolstoy once read this passage before himself and Chekhov and that Tolstoy was moved to tears by the end of the reading.

Other later passages of rare power include the personal crises that were faced by the protagonists of The Death of Ivan Ilyich , and of Master and Man , where the main character in the former or the reader in the latter are made aware of the foolishness of the protagonists' lives. Tolstoy had a profound influence on the development of Christian anarchist thought.

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Without naming himself an anarchist, Leo Tolstoy, like his predecessors in the popular religious movements of the 15th and 16th centuries, Chojecki , Denk and many others, took the anarchist position as regards the state and property rights , deducing his conclusions from the general spirit of the teachings of Jesus and from the necessary dictates of reason.

With all the might of his talent, Tolstoy made especially in The Kingdom of God Is Within You a powerful criticism of the church, the state and law altogether, and especially of the present property laws. He describes the state as the domination of the wicked ones, supported by brutal force. Robbers, he says, are far less dangerous than a well-organized government. He makes a searching criticism of the prejudices which are current now concerning the benefits conferred upon men by the church, the state, and the existing distribution of property, and from the teachings of Jesus he deduces the rule of non-resistance and the absolute condemnation of all wars.

His religious arguments are, however, so well combined with arguments borrowed from a dispassionate observation of the present evils, that the anarchist portions of his works appeal to the religious and the non-religious reader alike. He was harshly critical of the atrocities committed by the Russians, Germans, Americans, Japanese, and other western troops. He accused them of engaging in slaughter when he heard about the lootings, rapes, and murders, in what he saw as Christian brutality.

The attack on China in the Boxer Rebellion was railed against by Tolstoy. To the Chinese people , an epistle, was written by Tolstoy as part of the criticism of the war by intellectuals in Russia. Chinese Wisdom was a text written by Tolstoy. The Boxer Rebellion stirred Tolstoy's interest in Chinese philosophy. In hundreds of essays over the last 20 years of his life, Tolstoy reiterated the anarchist critique of the state and recommended books by Kropotkin and Proudhon to his readers, whilst rejecting anarchism's espousal of violent revolutionary means. In the essay, "On Anarchy", he wrote; "The Anarchists are right in everything; in the negation of the existing order, and in the assertion that, without Authority, there could not be worse violence than that of Authority under existing conditions.

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They are mistaken only in thinking that Anarchy can be instituted by a revolution. But it will be instituted only by there being more and more people who do not require the protection of governmental power There can be only one permanent revolution—a moral one: the regeneration of the inner man. Tolstoy was enthused by the economic thinking of Henry George , incorporating it approvingly into later works such as Resurrection , the book that played a major factor in his excommunication.

In , Tolstoy wrote A Letter to a Hindu [64] outlining his belief in non-violence as a means for India to gain independence from British colonial rule. In , a copy of the letter was read by Gandhi, who was working as a lawyer in South Africa at the time and just becoming an activist. Tolstoy's letter was significant for Gandhi, who wrote Tolstoy seeking proof that he was the real author, leading to further correspondence between them.

Reading Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God Is Within You also convinced Gandhi to avoid violence and espouse nonviolent resistance , a debt Gandhi acknowledged in his autobiography, calling Tolstoy "the greatest apostle of non-violence that the present age has produced". The correspondence between Tolstoy and Gandhi would only last a year, from October until Tolstoy's death in November , but led Gandhi to give the name Tolstoy Colony to his second ashram in South Africa.

Tolstoy also became a major supporter of the Esperanto movement. Tolstoy was impressed by the pacifist beliefs of the Doukhobors and brought their persecution to the attention of the international community, after they burned their weapons in peaceful protest in He aided the Doukhobors in migrating to Canada. Towards the end of his life, Tolstoy become more and more occupied with the economic theory and social philosophy of Georgism.

And it is impossible to do otherwise with his teaching, for he who becomes acquainted with it cannot but agree.

The Murder of Leo Tolstoy

Some assume that this development in Tolstoy's thinking was a move away from his anarchist views, since Georgism requires a central administration to collect land rent and spend it on infrastructure. However, anarchist versions of Georgism have also been proposed since. It suggests the possibility of small communities with some form of local governance to manage the collective land rents for common goods; whilst still heavily criticising institutions of the state such as the justice system.

Tolstoy died in , at the age of Just prior to his death, his health had been a concern of his family, who were actively engaged in his care on a daily basis.

Author:Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy

During his last few days, he had spoken and written about dying. Renouncing his aristocratic lifestyle, he had finally gathered the nerve to separate from his wife, and left home in the middle of winter, in the dead of night. She was outspokenly opposed to many of his teachings, and in recent years had grown envious of the attention which it seemed to her Tolstoy lavished upon his Tolstoyan "disciples". Tolstoy died of pneumonia [76] at Astapovo railway station, after a day's journey by train south. He was given injections of morphine and camphor. The police tried to limit access to his funeral procession, but thousands of peasants lined the streets.

Still, some were heard to say that, other than knowing that "some nobleman had died", they knew little else about Tolstoy. According to some sources, Tolstoy spent the last hours of his life preaching love, non-violence, and Georgism to his fellow passengers on the train. Both performers were nominated for Oscars for their roles. There is also a famous lost film of Tolstoy made a decade before he died. Beveridge , the U. As the three men conversed, Holmes filmed Tolstoy with his mm movie camera.

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Afterwards, Beveridge's advisers succeeded in having the film destroyed, fearing that documentary evidence of a meeting with the Russian author might hurt Beveridge's chances of running for the U. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Tolstoy disambiguation. For the rural locality and the railway station in Lipetsk Oblast, Russia, see Lev Tolstoy rural locality. Russian writer, author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina.


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This name uses Eastern Slavic naming customs ; the patronymic is Nikolayevich and the family name is Tolstoy. Sophia Behrs m. Leo Tolstoy's voice. Main article: Tolstoy family. The Power of Darkness. Schools of thought. Theory Practice. By region. Related topics.


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  • Play media. Main article: Leo Tolstoy bibliography. Russia portal Biography portal Politics portal. Nabokov, Vladimir. Lectures on Russian literature. Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 4 September Retrieved 8 March The Atlantic. Huffington Post. The New Yorker. University of California Press. Saint Petersburg: A. Suvorin Publishing House, p. Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was a Russian author best known for his novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina which are considered to be the greatest novels of realist fiction.

    In addition to writing novels, Tolstoy also authored short stories, essays and plays.