War and Peace provides an extraordinarily wide range of ways to be a man, especially when we take into account the general misogyny of Tolstoy's time. Even more unusual, none of the different kinds of men we see – from sensitive, artistic types, to macho men, to intellectuals – is shown to be any less worthy than the others. Tolstoy's point seems to be that it's not so much what type of masculinity you end up with, but what you do with your temperament and attitude that counts.
Women are actually completely tangential to this book, which in reality is about the way men want to be close to each other, or even be each other.
Rather than the more familiar ways of defining manhood as success in public life, or through the display of machismo, the novel argues that true masculine achievement is revealed through a man's relationship with children. Those who form lasting and meaningful connections with children are heralded, while those who cannot are regarded as failures as men.