Leo Tolstoy Archive
Master of Russian Literature, International Activist, Father of Christian Anarchism

9 September, [O.S. 28 August] 1828 – 20 November, [O.S. 7 November] 1910

Leo Tolstoy Leo Tolstoy


"...the dissemination of the truth in a society based on coercion was always hindered in one and the same manner, namely, those in power, feeling that the recognition of this truth would undermine their position, consciously or sometimes unconsciously perverted it by explanations and additions quite foreign to it, and also opposed it by open violence."

--Leo Tolstoy, "A Letter to a Hindu" (with Mohatma Gandhi), 1908

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (/ˈtoʊlstɔɪ, ˈtɒl-/; Russian: Лев Николаевич Толстой, tr. Lev Nikoláyevich Tolstóy, IPA: [lʲef nʲɪkɐˈla(j)ɪvʲɪtɕ tɐlˈstoj]; 9 September, [O.S. 28 August] 1828 – 20 November, [O.S. 7 November] 1910), usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. He received nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature every year from 1902 to 1906 and for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, 1902, and 1909. That he never won is a major controversy.

"A Government, therefore, and especially a Government entrusted with military power, is the most dangerous organization possible."

--Leo Tolstoy, "Patriotism and Government," 1900

Born to an aristocratic Russian family in 1828, Tolstoy is best known for the novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1878), often cited as pinnacles of realist fiction. He first achieved literary acclaim in his twenties with his semi-autobiographical trilogy, Childhood, Boyhood, and Youth (1852–1856), and Sevastopol Sketches (1855), based upon his experiences in the Crimean War. His fiction includes dozens of short stories and several novellas such as The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1886), Family Happiness (1859), and Hadji Murad (1912). He also wrote plays and numerous philosophical essays.

Leo Tolstoy Leo Tolstoy

"There are people (we ourselves are such) who realize that our Government is very bad, and who struggle against it."

--Leo Tolstoy, "A Letter to Russian Liberals," 1896

In the 1870s, Tolstoy experienced a profound moral crisis, followed by what he regarded as an equally profound spiritual awakening, as outlined in his non-fiction work A Confession (1882). His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him to become a fervent Christian anarchist and pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God is Within You (1894), had a profound impact on such pivotal 20th-century figures as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. He also became a dedicated advocate of Georgism, the economic philosophy of Henry George, which he incorporated into his writing, particularly Resurrection (1899).

"Nothing useful can be poured into a vessel that is already full of what is useless. We must first empty out what is useless."

--Leo Tolstoy, "Letter to a Non-Commissioned Officer," 1898

Source: Wikipedia.org



1852: Childhood

1854: Boyhood

1856: Two Hussars

1857: Youth

1859: Family Happiness

1863: The Cossacks : A Tale of 1852

1868: The Decemberists

1869: War and Peace

1877: Anna Karenina

1882: A Confession

1885: What Men Live By

1884: My Religion

1886: The Death of Ivan Ilyich

1886: The Power of Darkness

1887: On the Significance of Science and Art

1887: A Russian Proprietor, and Other Stories

1887: What to Do? Thoughts Evoked by the Census of Moscow

1887: The Invaders, and Other Stories

1888: Savestopol

1889: Fruits of Culture

1889: The Kreutzer Sonata, And Other Stories

1889: The Devil

1894: The Kingdom of God is Within You

1895: Master and Man

1897: What is Art?

1898: Father Sergius

1899: The Awakening

1899: The Resurrection

1904: What Shall We Do?

1904: Hadji Murad

1904: Fables for Children, Stories for Children, Natural Science Stories, Popular Education, Decembrists

1906: Tolstoy on Shakespeare

1912: The Forged Coupon, And Other Stories

1916: Tolstoy For the Young

1917: The Journal of Leo Tolstoi, Volume 1


1858: Albert

1886: The First Distiller

1890: The Light Shines in Darkness

1900: Redemption

1910: The Cause of It All

Short Stories

1852: A Morning of a Landed Proprietor

1862: Polikushka

1902: The Overthrow of Hell and Its Restoration


1851: A History of Yesterday

1878: First Recollections

1887: Where Love is There God is Also

1891: Church and State

1895: Last Will and Testament

1900: On Anarchy

1900: Patriotism and Government

1900: The Slavery Of Our Times

1900: Thou Shalt Not Kill

1902: To The Working People

1904: Bethink Yourselves!

1905: The State

1906: The End of the Age: An Essay on the Approaching Revolution

1908: I Cannot be Silent!

1908: Diary of a Lunatic

1909: The Inevitable Revolution

1909: Three Days in the Village

~~: Early Days


1896: Letter to Russian Liberals

1898: Letter to A Non-Comissioned Officer

1908: Letter to a Hindu

1910: Gandhi Letters