In Order To Get Power

“In order to get power and retain it, it is necessary to love power; but love of power is not connected with goodness but with qualities which are the opposite of goodness, such as pride, cunning, and cruelty.”

Leo Tolstoy, from The Kingdom of God Is Within You (1893)


Portrait of Leo Tolstoy via Wikipedia

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, commonly known as Leo Tolstoy (September 9, 1828 – November 20, 1910) was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. Tolstoy was born to an an aristocratic Russian family at Yasnaya Polyana, a large family estate some 100 miles outside Moscow. The fourth of five children, Tolstoy’s mother died when he was two and his father when he was nine. He began his writing in the mid-1940’s, publishing his first novel Childhood in 1852. In 1851 he went with his older brother to the Caucasus and joined the army. Tolstoy served as a young artillery officer during the brutal Crimean War. This experience would profoundly change Tolstoy, heavily influencing his writing and would assist in driving him to become a “radical” Christian in his later years. His most notable works are War and Peace (1869), Anna Karenina (1877) and The Kingdom of God is Within You (1894). He received multiple nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature every year from 1902 to 1906, and nominations for Nobel Peace Prize in years 1901, 1902 and 1910. His miss of the prize is a major Nobel prize controversy. A sad death, Tolstoy died after separating from his wife of more than 30 years, leaving home in the middle of winter, in the dead of night. He died of pneumonia at Astapovo railway station, after a day’s journey by train south. The station master took Tolstoy to his apartment, and his personal doctors were called. He was given injections of morphine and camphor.

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