Six Life Lessons from Leo Tolstoy

Tolstoy was more than just a great novelist with one of the best beards of the nineteenth century. He was also a radical social and political thinker who was constantly grappling with the problem of how to live. I’ve just written an article about his approach to the art of living called Six Life Lessons from Leo Tolstoy, which you can find over at Powells Books Blog.

The article is based on my new book How Should We Live? Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life, published in the US this week. (In the UK this same book was published under the title The Wonderbox – apologies for any confusion!)

This entry was posted in belief, empathy, ethics, family, literature, love, money, philosophy, religion, simple living, work. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Posted 3 December 2013 at 10.28am | Permalink

    He’s very much an inspiration to me:

    “[The Law of Love and The Law of Violence] consists of almost the last words Tolstoy wrote. Everything Tolstoy wrote is precious, but I found this final statement of the truth about life as he had come to understand it particularly beautiful and moving. ‘That is what I have wanted to say to you, my brothers. Before I died.’ So he concludes, giving one a vivid sense of the old man, pen in hand and bent over the paper, his forehead wrinkled into a look of puzzlement very characteristic of him, as though he were perpetually wondering how others could fail to see what was to him so clear – that the law of love explained all mysteries and invalidated all other laws.”

  2. Roman Krznaric
    Posted 3 December 2013 at 10.47am | Permalink

    Jeff, I really enjoyed your article on Tolstoy’s Law of Love and Law of Violence. Thanks for sending the link. He was such an astonishing thinker. I particularly love his little book A Confession.

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  1. By What is Art? (1899) by Leo Tolstoy | C.G. Fewston on 19 December 2013 at 12.38pm

    […] Six Life Lessons from Leo Tolstoy ( […]

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