Like Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel, Peter Turchin in War and Peace and War uses his expertise in evolutionary biology to make a highly original argument about the rise and fall of empires. Turchin argues that the key to the formation of an empire is a society’s capacity for collective action. He demonstrates that high levels of cooperation are found where people have to band together to fight off a common enemy, and that this kind of cooperation led to the formation of the Roman and Russian empires, and the United States. But as empires grow, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, conflict replaces cooperation, and dissolution inevitably follows. Eloquently argued and rich with historical examples, War and Peace and War offers a bold new theory about the course of world history.
Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic Wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy’s genius is seen clearly in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle—all of them fully realized and equally memorable. Out of this complex narrative emerges a profound examination of the individual’s place in the historical process, one that makes it clear why Thomas Mann praised Tolstoy for his Homeric powers and placed War and Peace in the same category as the Iliad: “To read him . . . is to find one’s way home . . . to everything within us that is fundamental and sane.”
"The best thing ever done on how Tolstoy wrote War and Peace. Feuer shows us an incredible complexity in terms of the creative process. You see the seams and joints in the novel."—Gary Saul Morson, Northwestern University"In 1963, Kathryn B. Feuer had access to the manuscripts of the drafts for the novel, almost 4,000 pages. At Tolstoy's home, she concentrated on a dozen books that related to his earlier conceptions of War and Peace. She was indefatigable, with every detail at her fingertips, and she could express fine perceptions with something of the lucidity and measure of her admired Jane Austen. . . . Her daughter and Donna Tussing Orwin completed their task of editing in such a way that the book everywhere shows that concern with thoroughly tested evidence that above all makes it a landmark in Tolstoy studies."—Times Literary Supplement"The effectiveness of Feuer's account of the creation of War and Peace results from her remarkably cogent and uncluttered reading of the drafts and revisions that inform the description of Tolstoy's creative process. Tolstoy and the Genesis of 'War and Peace' is destined to remain a classic on the subject."—Slavic Review"Young novelists who listen to their creative writing teachers would be better served reading Feuer's brilliant study of the creation of War and Peace."—Common KnowledgeKathryn B. Feuer offers remarkable insights into Leo Tolstoy's creative process while he wrote War and Peace. She follows the novel through countless drafts and notes, illuminating its connection to earlier, unpublished, novels and to crucial new sources, both European and Russian. A novelist herself, Feuer explores the problems of character development, narrative voice, genre, and structure that Tolstoy ultimately resolved so brilliantly.
Showing the Ruinous Policy of the Former, and the Superior Efficacy of the Latter, for National Protection and Defence; Clearly Manifested by Their Practical Operations and Opposite Effects Upon Nations, Kingdoms and People
This study provides a full analysis of the three basic narrative dimensions of War and Peace as a historical novel, as a piece of pure fiction, and as Tolstoy's philosophy of the nature of history. Silbajoris demonstrates that each minute detail in the landscape of this novel creates intimacy among individuals, and also between each person and the vast panorama of impersonal history.
A comprehensive anthology of nearly two hundred poems chronicles the death, destruction, and dealings of peace and war, from early Greece and Rome to Korea and Vietnam, in the voices of poets ranging from Aeschylus to Ted Hughes.
As warriors, freedom fighters and victims, as mothers, wives and prostitutes, and as creators and members of peace movements, women are inevitably caught up in the net of war. Yet women's participation in warfare and peace campaigns has often been underestimated or ignored. Images of Women in Peace and War explores women's relationships to war, peace, and revolution, from the Amazons, Inka and Boadicea, to women soldiers in South Africa, Mau Mau freedom fighters and the protestors at Greenham Common. The contributors consider not only the reality of women's participation but also look at how their actions have been perceived and represented across cultures and through history. They examine how sexual imagery is constructed, how it is used to delineate women's relation to warfare and how these images have sometimes been subverted in order to challenge the status quo. The book raises important questions about whether women have a special prerogative to promote peace and considers whether the experience of motherhood leads to a distinctive women's position on war. The authors find that their analyses lead them to deal with arguments on the basic nature of the sexes and to reevaluate our concepts of "peace," "war," and "gender."