Hi, I haven't read this book yet. But I'm wondering whether it's relevant to understand this period of history or if the fiction part outweighs the historical accuracy of the book ? In one word: is W&P worth reading in order to understand this period or are there better (and probably shorter) books to read first ? What do you think ?
Of course, it depends on what you are interested. I would recommend that you try to watch one of the many movies of War and Peace and see if it holds your interest. If you are interested in the military side, then it is hard to beat the definitive work of "Campaigns of Napoleon" by David Chandler. Another massive book but very complete and with maps of the battles, and with enough background on the political and diplomatic initiatives to give a good overview of the age.
yeah, I'm asking about war and peace because an ex girlfriend always wanted me to read it :-) and ... romance .... But to be honest, the books you recommend seem better for me as I definitely prefer non-fiction books. :-)
War and Peace is a wonderful portrait of Russian people and society of that time. It was meant as such, just like Anna Karennina. As others stated, it is not so much a warbook. However, though fictional, it still adds much to understanding the era. Clausewitz, btw, must be read with prudence, too. Although non-fictional it is still very personal.