Ivan the Fool and Three Shorter Tales for Living Peaceably, Leo Tolstoy
Books
Leo Tolstoy

Ivan the Fool and Three Shorter Tales for Living Peaceably

The four classic tales in this volume illuminate Leo Tolstoy's radical orientation toward war and commerce, revealing his vision for a sustainable, peaceable world. The feature story, Ivan the Fool, presents an archetypal fool who works hard, cooperates with everyone, and manages to foil every attempt to cause his downfall. In the end, peasant life comes out on top, while the pillars of imperial Russian society topple down. Esarhaddon, King of Assyria explores a king's empathy-based revelation to end all violence; and A Grain as Big as a Hen's Egg playfully looks at the relationship between health, soil, labor, and food economies. Three Questions sums up Tolstoy's highest ideal of serving others in the present moment. Some may critique these stories as being too simplistic or too moralistic. But these tales have stood the test of time precisely because they entertain well while evoking universal truths that lift us above humanity's self-serving impulses.
72 printed pages
Original publication
2018

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