Daily Archives: March 26, 2016

70% done with The World of Yesterday


some student went took a big risk slipping him that letter saying how things really were in Russia, how freedoms were restricted and everyone was watched. And at the time Zweig was a very famous man whose words could reach millions, yet he chose to write only a few paragraphs about Russia when he returned. What happened to that student? The student knew French, so perhaps some former noble class?

79% done with War and Peace


I’ve taken Tolstoy to task a bit because I don’t completely agree with his analysis of how leadership works. I think Tolstoy was an arrogant man because he was brilliant and who had no respect for authority because who could tell him what to do? But overall I do agree with the spirit of his argument: that no one person should be lifted above any others because everyone is carried along by the same stream.

78% done with War and Peace


It’s funny how Napoleon thinks he can make a few decrees, hand out a few pamphlets, and give away some money in order to get the Russians to accept him as their new leader. And by funny I mean it would piss off every single Russian alive at the arrogance of this little French. By trying to inspire one thing Napoleon actually inspires just the opposite.

78% done with War and Peace


“We have paid for the right to look at the matter plainly and simply, and we will not abandon that right.” – that’s a very nationalistic statement. Tolstoy compares Russia to France and Germany in this passage and puts Russia far ahead in terms of who really sees the truth. Yet this nationalism is what causes so many problems, and still does.

78% done with War and Peace


So the Russians, despite not being ready, having all wound up in the wrong place (even the name of the battle of Tarutino is probably wrong since Tarutino is miles away; Battle of Chernishnya is more fitting since that’s the river), despite everything being wrong and men dying needlessly, it was still a victory for the Russians and the French began to retreat.

77% done with War and Peace


“One of the first bullets killed him [General Bagovut], and other bullets killed many of his men” all quite needlessly and all because the General was angry. How many men have been killed in war because of something just like this? At least Kutuzov had the goo sense to vent his anger in front of someone of appropriate rank. But it’s all so senseless.

77% done with War and Peace


For as calm and accepting as Kutuzov is supposed to be, he sure gets upset at all the plans going badly. But I think the confusion I’m initially having here is that Kutuzov is mad about the things he can control not going well, not the things he can’t control. Getting the Army ready for a battle is the commander’s job and if it’s not done right the whole army could be ruined.