And Tolstoy begins Book 10 with another explanation of his theory of the unstoppable wheels of history. I must admit, every time Tolstoy returns to his theory, it becomes more convincing.
Certainly, I’m happy to buy that as far as this war went, nothing went to plan, and the fact that Napoleon’s army ended up freezing to death when they took Moscow (apologies to all of you fans that Leo spoiled it this early in the game, but like I said earlier, he is expecting you to know your Russian history).
But point by point, he shows how the French didn’t think taking Moscow would be a bad thing, the Russians had no intention of letting them take Moscow, yet by that happening, the French were defeated. What else are we to say?
I think where I disagree is that Tolstoy wants to draw from this particular battle a general principle that no where in history has anything really “gone according to plan” in the sense that one or two individuals can claim to have influenced events. And I’m especially not really comfortable with his idea that the higher up you are, with more individuals people underneath you, the less you are in control of things.
But, hey, I’m happy to put that aside, and see how this “randomly generated war” pans out over the rest of the book. It’s certainly fun to be made to think.