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Leo Tolstoy reveals himself as a moralist from time to time in all his works. In War and Peace, he does the same. Either before or after the narration of the story, Tolstoy transforms himself from a story teller to a reformer and speaks at length on a relevant subject. He begins Part Four of Book II, with his musings on Idleness. He says: "The Bible legend tells us that the absence of toil - idleness - was a common condition of the first man’s state of bliss before the Fall. This love of idleness has remained the same in fallen man, but the curse still lies heavy on the human race, not only because we have to earn our bread in the sweat of our brow, but because our moral nature is such that we are unable to be idle and at peace. --- It is just this obligatory and irreproachable idleness that has always constituted the chief attraction of military service." Such an introduction, Tolstoy gives before talking about Nikolai Rostov, serving in the Pavlograd regiment in the year 1807.
Tolstoy’s views on leaders and wars is echoed in some other pages of the novel. He rejected war and authority and believed in non-violence as the solution to a peaceful existence on earth. Renowned leaders of the world like Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela followed the concept of Tolstoy and achieved remarkable results in their countries. Chapter 1 of Part three of Book III closes with the view that men of authority wage war to find place in the books of history. Thus avers Tolstoy: "To study the laws of history, we must entirely change the subject of our observation, must leave aside Kings, ministers, and generals, and study the common, infinitesimally small elements that influence the masses."