War and Peace
: The Epilogues
War and Peace (1869) is a novel by Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. Serialized between 1865 and 1867, it was published in book form in 1869 and has since been recognized as a masterpiece of world literature. Notable for its epic scale, War and Peace encompasses hundreds of characters, diligently following its five central families across fifteen years while featuring detailed imaginings of such historical figures as Napoleon Bonaparte. In The Epilogues, Tolstoy draws his epic story to a heartwarming close while offering his theory on the philosophy of history. After so much death and destruction, Tolstoy finds solace in the sanctity of marriage and the effort of traumatized people to rebuild and reclaim their lives. As a new generation is born, hope is rekindled, but faint rumblings of unrest and conspiracy suggest that peace, once more, will be difficult to maintain. In the epilogue's second part, Tolstoy breaks from his narrative to offer his theory on the philosophy of history, condemning the popular Great Man Theory's elevation of the individual and proposing that small, singular events form the basis of historical change. With its depiction of the brutalities of war on individuals and society alike, Tolstoy's story brings history to life while reminding us that the past is always closer than we care to think. As ambitious as it is triumphant, Leo Tolstoy's masterpiece is an epic novel of history and family, a story of faith and the will to persevere in the face of unspeakable catastrophe. War and Peace is a work that transcends both history and description, not just for the scale of its narrative and setting, but for the scope of its philosophical interests. Since its publication, it has been praised as an essential work of literature by Ivan Turgenev, Gustave Flaubert, Thomas Mann, and Ernest Hemingway, and has been adapted for film, theater, and television countless times. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace is a classic of Russian literature reimagined for modern readers.
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