David Pierce,

It’s interesting you should bring that up. I don’t think there is an overwhelming amount of nationalism in War and Peace. I do, after all, use it to meditate on the wisdom of cosmopolitanism. But there is a certain amount of nationalism in the text, sure.

You can see that everything Tolstoy finds virtuous in men is always to be found in a Russian peasant possessed of “Russian” character. Further, Stalin reproduced passages of the novel for public consumption during World War II to drum up patriotic feelings during Hitler’s invasion.

For my friends and family, love. For my enemies, durian fruit.

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