This is the first anthology in Catalan of pacifist texts by Leo Tolstoy, an author who occupies a prominent place in the history of pacifist thought, especially because of the profound influence he had on Mahatma Gandhi – his great disciple – and on other writers, thinkers and activists of nonviolence.

Tolstoy, however, was not always a pacifist; on the contrary, he adopted antimilitarist positions after a profound spiritual crisis. That is why his arguments are tinged with a certain mystical, essential and deeply human aroma. Tolstoy intends to fight against evil in all its forms, including wars and state violence, and proposes individual solutions to achieve a state of perfection that must lead to the moral improvement of society and, consequently, to peace.

“His [Tolstoy’s] pacifist and antimilitarist critique seems more current than all the justifications of “just wars” made by the great ideological traditions.” (José Luis Gordillo, in the introduction)

Translation by Arnau Barios

The author

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) is one of history’s greatest writers, for his narrative dexterity, his depth of intuition and the psychological precision with which he describes his characters. His works include titles as significant as War and Peace (1869), Anna Karenina (1877), The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1887), The Kreutzer Sonata (1889) and Resurrection (1899). Apart from his strictly literary work, for which he gained international prominence, and his letters and diaries, Tolstoy wrote many essays, numerous pamphlets and countless articles on very diverse topics: the concept of art, religious and ethical questions, political and economic critiques, denunciations of the state, educational proposals, sociological reflections, etc. This enormous effort to understand the world and criticize bad policies makes him one of the most prolific and fascinating moral thinkers.