The Law of Love and The Law of Violence by Leo Tolstoy
(Dover Books on Western Philosophy)

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Synopsis

An examination of the conflicts within and among nations, this treatise proposes a remedy based on true Christian doctrine: recognition of love as the supreme law of life. Written just before World War I, it articulates Tolstoy's famous dictum that it is morally superior to suffer violence than to do violence—a philosophy that has inspired Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and countless others.
Famed for such popular novels as War and Peace and Anna Karenina, Tolstoy experienced a religious crisis at the age of fifty. Thenceforth he devoted himself to promoting the transformation of society, writing stories, essays, and books advocating the pursuit of an inner moral revolution. In the preface to this work, Tolstoy declares, "The only reason why I am writing this is because, knowing the one means of salvation for Christian humanity, from its physical corruption as well as from the moral corruption in which it is sunk, I, who am on the edge of the grave, cannot be silent." A century later, Tolstoy's powerful plea for nonviolence continues to resonate.
 

About Leo Tolstoy

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Count Leo Tolstoy was born on September 9, 1828, in Yasnaya Polyana, Russia. Orphaned at nine, he was brought up by an elderly aunt and educated by French tutors until he matriculated at Kazan University in 1844. In 1847, he gave up his studies and, after several aimless years, volunteered for military duty in the army, serving as a junior officer in the Crimean War before retiring in 1857. In 1862, Tolstoy married Sophie Behrs, a marriage that was to become, for him, bitterly unhappy. His diary, started in 1847, was used for self-study and self-criticism; it served as the source from which he drew much of the material that appeared not only in his great novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877), but also in his shorter works. Seeking religious justification for his life, Tolstoy evolved a new Christianity based upon his own interpretation of the Gospels. Yasnaya Polyana became a mecca for his many converts At the age of eighty-two, while away from home, the writer suffered a break down in his health in Astapovo, Riazan, and he died there on November 20, 1910.
 
Published January 28, 2014 by Dover Publications. 70 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction, Law & Philosophy, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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