Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (9th September 1828 - 20th November 1910) was born into a well known Russian family of nobility who was brought up by relatives following his parents death when he was very young. Described by his teachers at university as &quote;unable and unwilling to learn&quote; he abandoned all formal education and after running up gambling debts joined the army with his older brother. Here he started writing and had a moral and spiritual awakening that transformed him from the privileged aristocrat to a social reformer leading the life of an ascetic peasant. Later still, his interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus made him a fervent Christian anarchist and pacifist. His writings on non violence were to have a profound impact on Gandhi and Martin Luther King. &quote;The Power Of Darkness&quote; is a masterpiece of writing. Tolstoy is widely considered to be one of the greatest novelists of all time and in reading this compelling and powerful book it is clear why.

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