In Russia's struggle with Napoleon, Tolstoy saw a tragedy that involved all mankind. Greater than a historical chronicle, War and Peace is an affirmation of life itself, 'a complete picture', as a contemporary reviewer put it, 'of everything in which people find their happiness and greatness, their grief and humiliation'. Tolstoy gave his personal approval to this translation, published here in a new single volume edition, which includes an introduction by Henry Gifford, and Tolstoy's important essay 'Some Words about War and Peace'.
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