© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
War and Peace

War and Peace


by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Power Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Volume.Part.Chapter.Paragraph). We used Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky's translation.

Quote #1

[Anna Mikhailovna] woke up in the morning and told the Rostovs and all her acquaintances the details of Count Bezukhov's death. She said that the count had died as she would like to die, that his end had been not only touching, but also instructive; and the last meeting of the father and son had been so touching that she could not recall it without tears, and that she did not know who had behaved better in those terrible moments: the father, who remembered everything and everyone so well in the last minutes and said such touching things to the son; or Pierre, who was a pity to see, he was so crushed, but who nevertheless tried to hide his sorrow, so as not to upset his dying father. [...] She also told disapprovingly about the actions of the princess and Prince Vassily, but as a great secret and in a whisper. (

Like the best PR person, Anna Mikhailovna gets out in front of the story in order to control it. This way no one would ever argue that Pierre was trying to do some underhanded thing with the will.

Quote #2

Prince Andrei listened carefully to Prince Bagration's exchanges with the commanders and to the orders he gave, and noticed, to his surprise, that no orders were given, and that Prince Bagration only tried to pretend that all that was done by necessity, chance, or the will of a particular commander [...]. Prince Andrei noticed that, in spite of the chance character of events and their independence of the commander's will, his presence accomplished a very great deal. Commanders who rode up to Prince Bagration with troubled faces became calm, soldiers and officers greeted him merrily and became more animated in his presence, and obviously showed off their courage before him. (

This is the beginning of the book's argument that in actual war there is no such thing as strategy or plan. There is only morale, and so the best commanders, like this guy, are the ones who are able to boost the spirits of everyone around them.

Quote #3

[T]he one young, gentle voice of the emperor Alexander was distinctly heard. He uttered a greeting, and the first regiment bawled out such a deafening, prolonged, and joyful "Hurrah!" that the men themselves were awestruck at the multitude and strength of the huge bulk they made up. Rostov, standing in the front ranks of Kutuzov's army, which the sovereign rode up to first, had the same feeling that was experienced by every man in that army—a feeling of self forgetfulness, a proud awareness of strength, and a passionate attraction to him who was the cause of this solemnity. He felt that it would take only one word from this man for that whole mass (and he himself bound up with it—an insignificant speck) to go through fire and water, to crime, to death, or to the greatest heroism, and therefore he could not but tremble and thrill at the sight of that at approaching word. (

Do you think modern soldiers have this level of awe and worshipfulness for their commander in chief? Is that a good or bad thing?

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...