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Comment: Condition: Very good condition., Very good dust jacket. Binding: Hardcover. / Edition: First Edition, 1st Printing Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, c1994. / Pub. Date: 1994; c1994 Attributes: 400 p. ill. 24 cm. / Illustrations: B&W Photographs Stock#: 2064692 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
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Love and Hatred: The Troubled Marriage of Leo and Sonya Tolstoy Hardcover – July 1, 1994

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1862, Leo Tolstoy found an ideal helpmate and business manager for his literary work in Sonya Behrs, whom he married at age 34 after years of dissipation. She was 18. Though he settled down on his estate, Yasnaya Polyana, became the father of 15 children and produced War and Peace and Anna Karenina , Tolstoy's religious "conversion" to his ascetic version of Christianity doomed the union, shows Shirer ( The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich ). Sonya saw sheer hypocrisy in her husband's continued aristocrat lifestyle and his preaching of sexual abstinence while he repeatedly made her pregnant. She confided to her diary her secret, obsessive love for chubby, effeminate pianist Sergei Taneyev. Vladimir Chertkov, Leo's devious, overbearing disciple, also abetted the couple's break-up, pressuring Tolstoy to leave his wife. Tolstoy finally fled Yasnaya Polyana in 1910 at age 82; he died of peneumonia 10 days later at an isolated railway station. Sonya outlived her husband by nine years. Occasionally quoting from Tolstoy's novels, Shirer draws on the diaries, letters and testimony of Leo, Sonya and their children and associates for this darkly magnificent dual portrait. Photos.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In 1897 Tolstoy wrote his daughter Tonya, explaining his opposition to her desired marriage: "As far as love is concerned, it's an ignoble and unhealthy sentiment-I would not have opened my door to it." Perhaps this passage reflects the turbulent marriage of Leo and Sonya-first the promise of love and then disillusionment. Certainly, there was a love of sorts-their marriage lasted 48 years and brought forth 13 children-but the later half of the marriage was soured by acrimony, secrecy, and great emotional wounding. The greatest division came with the battle over the rights to Tolstoy's works. Sonya finally got sole possession, outliving Leo by nine years and plagued by the thought that she had been wrong for her genius husband. In intimate and scrupulous detail often drawn directly from Leo and Sonya's diaries, Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich) has profiled the disintegration of a marriage. Compelling reading from an exacting biographer; for interested lay readers.
--Robert L. Kelly, Fort Wayne Community Schs., Ind.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (July 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671881620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671881627
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,733,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cipriano on August 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Perhaps the best way to describe the reciprocal feelings of Leo and Sonya Tolstoy is to quote from their own diary entries. He said: "Nobody will ever understand me." She said: "He has never taken the trouble to understand me, and does not know me in the least." It was a marriage that reached to the highest heights, and sank to the lowest depths... over and over again in each direction. And anyone wanting to know more about it should not neglect Shirer's excellent book. By seesawing between the extensive diaries of these two "lovers" Shirer takes the reader right into the eye of the storm... one of the most amazing things about this tumultuous marriage is the extensive and meticulous documentation of the participants. And the author's collation, skillful narrative sense and endnote pages show that he was well acquainted with the extenuating circumstances of these two lives trying to live as one. The latter half of the book is to be commended for its appropriate emphasis on the disastrous influence of Chertkov, the disciple who became the usurper of Tolstoy's most profound devotion. In my opinion, this rift named Chertkov gradually became the uncrossable chasm that irreparably separated Leo and Sonya. During this time, Tolstoy's alliance with his daughter Sasha further alienated husband and wife, and Shirer covers this development with great insight. It's all here... from the peace, courtship, and high hopes of Yasnaya Polyana to the final conflict, rejection and despair of Astapovo.
Shirer knew this was to be his last book, and it was. After such a prolific and successful career (14 books and 52 years), to devote his last energies to such a work must imply that he took a special interest in the subject matter. It shows. All of the other books of his I've read have been excellent, and this one is no exception.
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By Amaranth on April 24, 2015
Format: Hardcover
William Shirer was a CBS war correspondent in Germany during the dark days of WWII- penning such chronicles as Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent, 1934-1941 and The Nightmare Years: 1930-1940, Vol. 2 In his final book, published right after his passing (he had planned to retire in rural Massachusetts as soon as he finished this book), he chronicles the private nightmare years of one of the most favorite literary couples in history. Shirer, rather than focusing on a country in the midst of war, meticulously documents the author who wrote hefty epics like War and Peace (Vintage Classics) and Anna Karenina This is Shirer's final work, and probably his best.

"Love and Hatred" shows the constant drama that was the Tolstoy marriage. Unlike Alexandra Popoff's works, Shirer valorizes neither side. He sympathizes with Sofia Tolstoy's constant pregnancies, how she suffered from her husband's fluctuating ideologies and being rejected by her husband in his final days. Still, he shows that Sofia was no saint herself- from the murderous jealousy she had for Axinya (Leo's peasant lover) to her platonic romance with Sergei Taneev. Just as Leo had planned to abandon her, Sofia had planned several times to abandon him.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Dockrey on September 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
All things are releative, and as above so below. The differences between Leo and Sonya are essentialy the diferences between every contmplative life and every pragmatic existence. So for married couples who have little in common Shirer's complilation and comentary is an exercise in marriage survival.It would be nice if he could have given considerable more insight into the "Love" aspect of his title, but we're talking about a writer famous for "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" so may he thought Love was given its fair share?
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