ISJ Fall 2022: History – The First Casualty Of War – A Lesson From Tolstoy’s ‘War And Peace.’ / Paul Regan
Napoleon is alleged to have once said that history is a set of lies agreed upon. As we have listened in the past six months to the Kremlin’s bizarre historical justifications for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began in February 2022, it is difficult to disagree with him. Most of us, mercifully far away from the battlefields, would have previously entertained only the vaguest notion of the historical relationship between the two countries. Required by circumstances to formulate a balanced view one way or another, our relative ignorance leaves many open to psychological manipulation. How much worse must it be for the participants, witnesses, and victims, who will inherit the ruins when this war is finally over?