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Leo Tolstoy, aka Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy or Tolstoi

(1828 - 1910)

Biography:

Russian Essayist, Realistic Fiction Novelist and Playwright, best known for novels "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina"

Quotes
The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity by contributing to the establishment of the kingdom of God, which can only be done by the recognition and profession of the truth by every man.
'If everyone did the war by conviction, there would be none.
A battle is won by the side that is absolutely determined to win. Why did we lose the battle of Austerlitz? Our casualties were about the same as those of the French, but we had told ourselves early in the day that the battle was lost, so it was lost.
A better life can only come when the consciousness of men is altered for the better; and therefore, those who wish to improve life must direct all their efforts towards changing both their own and other people?s consciousness.
A cigar is a sort of thing, not exactly a pleasure, but the crown and outward sign of pleasure.
A commercial company enslaved a nation comprising two hundred millions. Tell this to a man free from superstition and he will fail to grasp what these words mean. What does it mean that thirty thousand men, not athletes but rather weak and ordinary people, have subdued two hundred million vigorous, clever, capable, and freedom-loving people? Do not the figures make it clear that it is not the English who have enslaved the Indians, but the Indians who have enslaved themselves?
A free thinker used to be a man who had been educated on ideas of religion, law, morality, and had arrived at free thought by virtue of his own struggle and toil; but now a new type of born freethinker has been appearing, who?ve never even heard that there have been laws of morality and religion, and that there are authorities, but who simply grow up with negative ideas about everything, that is savages.
A Frenchman is self-assured because he regards himself personally both in mind and body as irresistibly attractive to men and women. An Englishman is self-assured as being a citizen of the best-organized state in the world and therefore, as an Englishman, always knows what he should do and knows that all he does as an Englishman is undoubtedly correct. An Italian is self-assured because he is excitable and easily forgets himself and other people. A Russian is self-assured just because he knows nothing and does not want to know anything, since he does not believe that anything can be known. The German's self-assurance is worst of all, stronger and more repulsive than any other, because he imagines that he knows the truth -- science -- which he himself has invented but which is for him the absolute truth.
A good player who loses at chess is genuinely convinced that he has lost because of a mistake, and he looks for this mistake in the beginning of his game, but forgets that there were also mistakes at every step in the course of the game, that none of his moves was perfect. The mistake he pays attention to is conspicuous only because his opponent took advantage of it.
A human activity having for its purpose the transmission to others of the highest and best feelings to which men have risen.