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The Kingdom of God is Within You [Kindle Edition]

Leo Tolstoy , Leo Wiener
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $9.99 What's this?
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Book Description

The essence of the social conception of life consists in the transference of the meaning of our personal lives into the life of the aggregate of personalities,-the tribe, the family, the race, the state. This transference has taken place easily and naturally in its first forms, in the transference of meaning of life from the personality to the tribe, the family. But the transference to the race or nation is more difficult and demands a special education for it...
-from The Kingdom of God Is Within You

He is considered one of the greatest novelists in any language in all of human history, but Leo Tolstoy was also an influential social reformer and peace advocate. Subtitled "Christianity Not as a Mystical Teaching but as a New Concept of Life," this powerful exploration of the preachings of Jesus from a pacifistic perspective. First published in 1893, it introduced such important 20th-century figures as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King to the concept of nonviolent resistance.

This edition is vital reading for anyone wishing to understand the history of protest around the world or gain a deeper appreciation of pacifistic Christianity.

Russian writer COUNT LEV ("LEO") NIKOLAYEVICH TOLSTOY (1828-1910) is best known for his novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). Translation by Harvard professor of Slavic languages, Leo Weiner (1862-1939).

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Editorial Reviews


"A highly significant book."—Ernest J. Simmons, Leo Tolstoy
(Ernest J. Simmons)

"The keystone of Tolstoy’s entire ethical structure."—Henri Troyat, Tolstoy
(Henri Troyat)

Language Notes

Text: English, Russian (translation)

Product Details

  • File Size: 3989 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Cosimo Classics (November 30, 1898)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001B22978
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #489,260 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
217 of 220 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not to be taken lightly! June 23, 1999
By A Customer
Thank you Leo Tolstoy for giving the world such a profound gift. This book was banned in Tolstoy's homeland, Russia, because it was considered revolutionary, it inspired Mohandas Ghandi to align his life with the Truth at any cost, and with the insanely universal dependence by nation states upon the military option, this book remains as relevant as it was on the day it was published in 1894.
Admittedly, this is not a quick read. At times, one can feel bogged down in Tolstoy's meticulous arguments. But taken as a whole, it is an inspired and inspiring work which will without fail prod the attentive reader to scrutinize one's life -- beliefs AND actions.
I believe this book will resurface time and again in the non-violent mass movements of the coming century. Read it. Absorb it. Assimilate it. The truth as revealed in this book will indeed set us all free!
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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Reading this book can, hopefully, change how persons think about truth and non-violence. No doubt Gandhi was overwhelmed by it (and tried to practise it). They lived in the same time. If everyone practices even an iota of the observations and yearning for truth from this book, the world would be a better place to live in. Definitely recommended for all who seek the Truth and are willing to try.
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174 of 194 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Ghandi to YOU June 4, 2002
By Abrams
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the book which sparked the spiritual revolution in Ghandi, and helped make him the unbelieveable man he was. Ghandi raved about this book in his autobiography, and I couldn't agree more. This could quite possibly be the best book I have ever read. However, two years ago I wouldn't have gotten all that I have out of it. It came in the perfect time of my spiritual awakening. By the very Truth of you reading what I am saying I would suggest you get this book RIGHT NOW! You are ready to hear what he has to say, and it will make you a better person and thus making our world better. Tolstoy is a remarkable spiritual revolutionist, and he will open your eyes to the works of others that have been suppressed throughout time. Good luck to you and take care out there!
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most profound book I've ever read. March 10, 2006
This book blew me away. Tolstoy explains the cause of conflicts between divergent theories of life, the intrinsic hypocrisy of life in modern society, the futility of force-based solutions, and the nature of man's search for personal truth. He proposes a radical change in social order based on Christ's Sermon on the Mount.

Most people recommend you read the last chapter first, but I plowed right through the tedious beginning and found it relevant to my thoughts at the time.

Perhaps I discovered this book at exactly the right time in my life, but my life will never be the same. I recommend this book to anyone who is seeking higher truth outside of organized religion or trying to reconcile science and religion.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book on Christianity Ever Written May 23, 2005
By Jay
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The title of the book is a direct quotation from Jesus in response to a question from the Pharisees who wanted to know when the kingdom would come. Jesus said that the kingdom of God was there at that time, not in some future time. That was his message time and again. Yet there are pie in the sky "Christians" who are still looking for signs of the "coming" kingdom in direct opposition to Jesus' simple but true teaching.

Tolstoy points out the true teachings of Jesus, from the Sermon on the Mount, to the title of his book. He then compares that to the way that "Christianity" was taught all over the world in 1894 (today too) and concludes correctly that what is being taught is actually in opposition to the real teachings of Jesus, or more appropriately, anti Christ teachings, and not Christianity.

Tolstoy's writing is lucid, inspiring, and real. Anyone who denies its message will have to deny the real teachings of Jesus, which have been deliberately twisted into an arm of church and state power. Tolstoy points out just how that has in fact been so perverted.

Best secular book on Christianity ever written and just as true today as it was in 1894.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best book ever written May 19, 2006
Leo Tolstoy had a midlife crisis at age 50, and decided that he had to find the meaning of life or else commit suicide. He found it in the teachings of Jesus. No, I mean he really actually found the meaning of life, like not just for him, for everyone. He then totally revamped his life, becoming a heroic figure.

Jesus was a pacifist. Since governments have military, any true pacifist is necessarily against government. "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand" means - "change your way of life, for the secular kingdoms of the world are about to be replaced by a united divine kingdom." Tolstoy profoundly appeals to the conscience of the reader to do what is right, from the spirit of God and truth within you, instead of what is in your personal interest.

Tolstoy's Christianity is not that of a Church, but that of Jesus, especially from the Sermon on the Mount. Most so-called Christians largely ignore the teachings of Jesus (e.g. nonviolence!!!) and concentrate more on salvation, faith, Church dogma and tradition, Paul's letters to the Corinthians, the Old Testament, miracles, ressurection, etc.

When reading it, you will find that the things Tolstoy says jump out at you as strikingly and undeniably true. Tolstoy also displays his pure brilliance and tremendous compassion. This book inspired Gandhi to become the great peace advocate he was.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars This is on the publisher not the book itself
This is a poor translation. The errors are not many but there are a few... so far. And I haven't even read half of it.
Published 1 month ago by Beverly Jarquin
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting take on the Christian faith.
Well written, and well thought out. It takes us back to the way the church was in its infancy, and makes you ask, why all the trappings, symbols, and rituals, when Christianity is... Read more
Published 2 months ago by John Bates
5.0 out of 5 stars The Kingdon of God
I choose this book because of a request from a person I write to in Prison. I sent the book to him and he was very grateful for it. I have not read it myself.
Published 2 months ago by dianeowens
3.0 out of 5 stars The Kingdom of God is Within You by Leo Tolstoy
Great material to refresh the mind of those who stand against war or any violence. The arguments used herein are straightforward and presented very direct.
Published 3 months ago by Karen Meyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Jesus not the first to say this!
I give the book a five star rating even though it was written before the Nag Hammadi gnostic writings were discovered in Egypt in 1945. Read more
Published 4 months ago by John Turnbull
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, Horrible Product
I don't want to unfairly rate this book poor because it is a fascinating read and I enjoyed it very thoroughly. Read more
Published 5 months ago by M. Vickers
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read
It gives a good foundation and history for personal growth & development. This is eye opening and awe inspiring. A must have in pursuit of God's intent for His people.
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Wish I could get into this book
When in high school started War and Peace and Anna Karinena years ago and got about three pages in an fell asleep
Published 7 months ago by Hellman Family
5.0 out of 5 stars God is Within
The Divine Spark resides within all of the creations...don't you ever forget it. This book is fantastic! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Herbert Asher
4.0 out of 5 stars Available for Free
eBook available for free @ [...]

"Project Gutenberg offers over 42,000 free ebooks: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Nicholas M. Tobolski
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More About the Author

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) wrote two of the great novels of the nineteenth century, War and Peace and Anna Karenina.

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