War and Peace is a historical novel that chronicles the tumultuous events in Russia during the Napoleonic Wars in the early 19th century. Focusing on an aristocratic way of life that had already started to fade at the time that Leo Tolstoy wrote the book in the 1860s, it covers a comparatively short span of time-fifteen years-but it renders the lives of disparate Characters from all segments of society with vivid, well-realized details. The story captures a generation on the brink of change, with some defending the existing class structure with their lives while others realize that the old way of life is disappearing. Part history lesson, part grand romance, part battlefield revisionism, and part philosophy lecture, War and Peace has captivated generations of readers with its gripping narrative and its clear, intelligible understanding of the human soul.

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