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War and Peace is a novel by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy. The work is epic in scale and is regarded as one of the most important works of world literature. It is considered Tolstoy's finest literary achievement, along with his other major prose work Anna Karenina. War and Peace delineates in graphic detail events surrounding the French invasion of Russia, and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society, as seen through the eyes of five Russian aristocratic families. Newsweek in 2009 ranked it first in its list of the Top 100 Books. Tolstoy himself, somewhat enigmatically, said of War and Peace that it was "not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less an historical chronicle." Large sections of the work, especially in the later chapters, are philosophical discussion rather than narrative. He went on to elaborate that the best Russian literature does not conform to standard norms.

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