Book Review | What Men Live By by Leo Tolstoy

Updated: Jul 28

Birth: September 9, 1828, Yasnaya Polyana, Russia

Death: November 20, 1910, Yasnaya Polyana, Russia


What Men Live By by Leo Tolstoy - 1885

Russian writer Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy was born on September 9, 1828 in Yasnaya-Polyana, as a child of a wealthy family.


In the 1860s, he wrote War and Peace, which is his first great novel. After this novel, his success continued forever with the following novels we all know: The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Anna Karenina, The Kreutzer Sonata, Resurrection...


I would like to share with you today; "What Men Live By" by Leo Tolstoy.



When we are so engrossed in our life dealings on a daily basis, we do not see the bigger picture. We are not bothered about our surroundings and other people suffering. We tend to ignore them, as if they are not our problems, not realising a teeny weeny bit of help solves the other person's life's problem. Just realised, how much we would learn and earn, by just being a bit cool, a bit relaxed and a bit helping... without looking for any returns. The story touches upon an important problem that everyone should be aware of.


Tolstoy makes words and mind speak again, being so impressed by a 25-page story, it was an experience I had never tasted before.



“I know now that people only seem to live when they care only for themselves, and that it is by love for others that they really live. He who has Love has God in him, and is in God... because God is Love. ” /Leo Tolstoy
“I have learned that men live not by selfishness, but by love.” /Leo Tolstoy
I looked up, and did not recognize the same man: before, I had seen death in his face; but now he was alive, and I recognized in him the presence of God./Leo Tolstoy
“Remember then: there is only one time that is important-- Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with any one else: and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!” /Leo Tolstoy

“Learn What dwells in man, What is not given to man, and What men live by.”

“Therefore, let him who sees the sun’s whole light filling the world, refrain from blaming or despising the superstitious man, who in his own idol sees one ray of that same light. Let him not despise even the unbeliever who is blind and cannot see the sun at all.” /Leo Tolstoy
“All men love live not by what they may intend for their own well-being, but by the love that dwells in others.” /Leo Tolstoy
“He continued to read every night, and the more he read the more clearly he understood what God required of him, and how he might live for God. And his heart grew lighter and lighter.” /Leo Tolstoy
“So on matters of faith, continued the Chinaman, the student of Confucius, it is pride that causes error and discord among men. As with the sun, so it is with God. Each man wants to have a special God of his own, or at least a special God for his native land. Each nation wishes to confine in its own temples Him, whom the world cannot contain.” /Leo Tolstoy

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