One of the great masters of the 19th century novel, Leo Tolstoy created a sweeping epic in War and Peace enfolding together huge events in history and politics with the emotional lives of individuals in the backdrop of Napoleonic invasions across Europe and Russia. The vast and sprawling War and Peace tells the story of survival during Napoleon's invasion of Russia. Among its many unforgettable characters are Prince Andrey Bolkonsky, Pierre Bezukhov, and the novel's most memorable heroine, Natasha. Both an intimate study of individual passions and an epic history of Russia and its people, War and Peace is a complete portrait of human existence. 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.
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