Where to go for more information.


Online articles about Tolstoy, War and Peace, and Russian literature
Watch a talk about War and Peace on CSPAN’s Book TV
Watch rare film footage of Tolstoy
View pictures of Tolstoy, his family, his friends, and his estate
Listen to Tolstoy reading from his own works

The best biographies of Tolstoy

Other useful books about Tolstoy, his art, and his times

Berlin, Isaiah.  The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy’s View of History. 2nd edition. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013. [Original editions: The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy’s View of History, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1953; New York, 1953 and 1986: Simon and Schuster.]A classic of both Tolstoy scholarship and intellectual history, this erudite essay analyzing the writer’s theory of history is both thought-provoking and a joy to read.
Eikhenbaum, Boris. Tolstoi in the Sixties. Trans. Duffield White.  Ann Arbor: Ardis, 1982.  A classic of Tolstoy scholarship that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know (and then some) about the social, cultural, and intellectual context of the 1860’s, during which Tolstoy wrote War and Peace.
Feuer, Kathryn B.  Tolstoy and the Genesis of ‘War and Peace’.  Ed. Robin Feuer Miller and
An engagingly written book by a respected Tolstoy scholar and novelist, tracing the process by which War and Peace grew from a socio-political novel with overt ideological intentions into an artistic masterpiece that transcends ideology altogether.
Gustafson, Richard.  Leo Tolstoy: Resident and Stranger; A Study in Fiction and Theology.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986; 2006. An important and serious book by a prominent Tolstoy scholar that illuminates the ways in which all of Tolstoy’s works, both fictional and philosophical, are an expression of the writer’s lifelong religious searchings.
Kaufman, Andrew. Understanding Tolstoy. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 2011.  A broad and accessible analysis of Tolstoy’s major novels and novellas in the context of his life and times that speaks to the ways in which Tolstoy, despite living in a manner far removed from the experiences of most modern-day Americans, is still applicable and contemporary.
Lieven, Dominic. Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace. New York: Viking, 2010. The go-to resource for those readers wanting a fuller discussion of the power politics and military strategies behind the events described in War and Peace.
Nickell, William. The Death of Tolstoy: Russia on the Eve, Astapovo Station, 1910. Ithaca: NY: Cornell University Press, 2010. A richly detailed account of Tolstoy’s final flight from Yasnaya Polyana and his eventual death in the Astapovo train station, emphasizing how those events became a public spectacle and celebrity media event unlike any other the world had seen.
Orwin, Donna Tussing, ed. Anniversary Essays on Tolstoy. Cambridge: Cambridge University _ Press, 2010.  A collection of original essays by leading scholars containing some of the latest thinking about Tolstoy in areas ranging from the writer’s attitudes towards music and death to the way in which he was presented during the revolutionary period in Russia.
Popoff, Alexandra. Sophia Tolstoy: A Biography. New York: Free Press, 2010. The only biography of Tolstoy’s wife available in English, Popoff’s book provides fascinating insight into the troubled Tolstoy marriage, as well as a deeper appreciation of the heroism and humanity of the woman without whom War and Peace would never have been written.
Riasanovsky Nicholas V., and Mark D. Steinberg. A History of Russia. 8th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. The best single-volume introduction to Russian history, spanning ancient Russia through the post-Communist present era.
Steiner, George.  Tolstoy or Dostoevsky: An Essay in the Old Criticism.  2nd ed. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press,1996. This wide-ranging comparative study of two giants of nineteenth-century Russian literature is erudite, accessible, and passionate, arising as it does out of Steiner’s self-proclaimed “debt of love” for the writers he discusses.
Tolstoy, Sofia. The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy. trans. Cathy Porter. New York: Harper Perennial, 2009. The best book available in English about the Tolstoy marriage, as seen from the point of view of Tolstoy’s wife.

The best compilation in English of Tolstoy’s letters and diaries

What to read by Tolstoy after War and Peace

Give War and Peace a Chance: Tolstoyan Wisdom for Troubled Times

The highly readable companion to the novel that makes it more accessible and enjoyable to all readers.