Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828 – 1910), usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. He received nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature every year from 1902 to 1906 and for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, 1902, and 1909.
A master of realistic fiction he had little interest in academics when he was young. in 1851 he enlisted himself in the Russian army and served in the Crimean War (1854-1856). He records his experience in Sevastopol Stories (1855). Tolstoy produced an autobiographical novel, Childhood (1852), followed by Boyhood (1854) and Youth (1857) which earned him literary acclaim. Tolstoy is best known for the novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1878) often cited as pinnacles of realist fiction.
Leo Tolstoy’s philosophy of non-resistance to evil made an impact on Mahatma Gandhi’s political thinking. Gandhi was deeply moved by Tolstoy’s concept of truth, which, in his view, constitutes any doctrine that reduces suffering. For both Gandhi and Tolstoy, truth is God, and since God is universal love, truth must therefore also be universal love.