Skip to comments.Gingrich ‘flawed, but he’s our guy’
Posted on 02/12/2012 2:42:24 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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The novel begins in July 1805 in Saint Petersburg, at a soirée given by Anna Pavlovna Scherer the maid of honour and confidante to the queen mother Maria Feodorovna. Many of the main characters and aristocratic families in the novel are introduced as they enter Anna Pavlovna’s salon. Pierre (Pyotr Kirilovich) Bezukhov is the illegitimate son of a wealthy count, an elderly man who is dying after a series of strokes. Pierre is about to become embroiled in a struggle for his inheritance. Educated abroad at his father’s expense following his mother’s death, Pierre is essentially kindhearted, but socially awkward, and owing in part to his open, benevolent nature, finds it difficult to integrate into Petersburg society. It is known to everyone at the soirée that Pierre is his father’s favorite of all the old counts illegitimate children.
Also attending the soireé is Pierre’s friend, the intelligent and sardonic Prince Andrei Nikolayevich Bolkonsky, husband of Lise, the charming society favourite. Finding Petersburg society unctuous and disillusioned with married life after discovering his wife is empty and superficial, Prince Andrei makes the fateful choice to be an aide-de-camp to Prince Mikhail Ilarionovich Kutuzov in the coming war against Napoleon.
The plot moves to Moscow, Russia’s ancient city and former capital, contrasting its provincial, more Russian ways to the highly mannered society of Petersburg. The Rostov family are introduced. Count Ilya Andreyevich Rostov has four adolescent children. Thirteen-year-old Natasha (Natalia Ilyinichna) believes herself in love with Boris Drubetskoy, a disciplined young man who is about to join the army as an officer. Twenty-year-old Nikolai Ilyich pledges his teenage love to Sonya (Sofia Alexandrovna), his fifteen-year-old cousin, an orphan who has been brought up by the Rostovs. The eldest child of the Rostov family, Vera Ilyinichna, is cold and somewhat haughty but has a good prospective marriage in a Russian-German officer, Adolf Karlovich Berg. Petya (Pyotr Ilyich) is nine and the youngest of the Rostov family; like his brother, he is impetuous and eager to join the army when of age. The heads of the family, Count Ilya Rostov and Countess Natalya Rostova, are an affectionate couple but forever worried about their disordered finances.
At Bald Hills, the Bolkonskys’ country estate, Prince Andrei departs for war and leaves his terrified, pregnant wife Lise with his eccentric father Prince Nikolai Andreyevich Bolkonsky and his devoutly religious sister Maria Nikolayevna Bolkonskaya.
The second part opens with descriptions of the impending Russian-French war preparations. At the Schöngrabern engagement, Nikolai Rostov, who is now conscripted as ensign in a squadron of hussars, has his first taste of battle. He meets Prince Andrei, whom he insults in a fit of impetuousness. Even more than most young soldiers, he is deeply attracted by Tsar Alexander’s charisma. Nikolai gambles and socializes with his officer, Vasily Dmitrich Denisov, and befriends the ruthless and perhaps psychopathic Fyodor Ivanovich Dolokhov.
NOT so, had Newt the 'qualities' of old Bill, Newt, would not be so HATED by the hypocrites!!!! Somehow the hypocrites willingly ignore the sodomites.
Book Two begins in late 1800s with Nikolai Rostov briefly returning on home leave to Moscow. Nikolai finds the Rostov family facing financial ruin due to poor estate management. He spends an eventful winter at home, accompanied by his friend Denisov, his officer from the Pavlograd Regiment in which he serves. Natasha has blossomed into a beautiful young girl. Denisov falls in love with her, proposes marriage but is rejected. Although his mother pleads with Nikolai to find himself a good financial prospect in marriage, Nikolai refuses to accede to his mother’s request. He promises to marry his childhood sweetheart, the dowry-less Sonya.
Pierre Bezukhov, upon finally receiving his massive inheritance, is suddenly transformed from a bumbling young man into the richest and most eligible bachelor in the Russian Empire. Despite rationally knowing that it is wrong, he proposes marriage with Prince Kuragin’s beautiful and immoral daughter Hélène (Elena Vasilyevna Kuragina), to whom he is sexually attracted. Hélène, who is rumoured to be involved in an incestuous affair with her brother, the equally charming and immoral Anatol, tells Pierre that she will never have children with him. Hélène has an affair with Dolokhov, who mocks Pierre in public. Pierre loses his temper and challenges Dolokhov, a seasoned dueller and a ruthless killer, to a duel. Unexpectedly, Pierre wounds Dolokhov. Hélène denies her affair, but Pierre is convinced of her guilt and, after almost being violent to her, leaves her. In his moral and spiritual confusion, Pierre joins the Freemasons, and becomes embroiled in Masonic internal politics. Much of Book Two concerns his struggles with his passions and his spiritual conflicts to be a better man. Now a rich aristocrat, he abandons his former carefree behavior and enters upon a philosophical quest particular to Tolstoy: how should one live a moral life in an ethically imperfect world? The question continually baffles and confuses Pierre. He attempts to liberate his serfs, but ultimately achieves nothing of note.
Pierre is vividly contrasted with the intelligent and ambitious Prince Andrei Bolkonsky. At the Battle of Austerlitz, Andrei is inspired by a vision of glory to lead a charge of a straggling army. He suffers a near fatal artillery wound. In the face of death, Andrei realizes all his former ambitions are pointless and his former hero Napoleon (who rescues him in a horseback excursion to the battlefield) is apparently as vain as himself.
Prince Andrei recovers from his injuries in a military hospital and returns home, only to find his wife Lise dying in childbirth. He is stricken by his guilty conscience for not treating Lise better when she was alive and is haunted by the pitiful expression on his dead wife’s face. His child, Nikolenka, survives.
Burdened with nihilistic disillusionment, Prince Andrei does not return to the army but chooses to remain on his estate, working on a project that would codify military behavior to solve problems of disorganization responsible for the loss of life on the Russian side. Pierre visits him and brings new questions: where is God in this amoral world? Pierre is interested in panentheism and the possibility of an afterlife.
Pierre’s estranged wife, Hélène, begs him to take her back, and against his better judgment he does. Despite her vapid shallowness, Hélène establishes herself as an influential hostess in Petersburg society.
Prince Andrei feels impelled to take his newly written military notions to Petersburg, naively expecting to influence either the Emperor himself or those close to him. Young Natasha, also in Petersburg, is caught up in the excitement of dressing for her first grand ball, where she meets Prince Andrei and briefly reinvigorates him with her vivacious charm. Andrei believes he has found purpose in life again and, after paying the Rostovs several visits, proposes marriage to Natasha. However, old Prince Bolkonsky, Andrei’s father, dislikes the Rostovs, opposes the marriage, and insists on a year’s delay. Prince Andrei leaves to recuperate from his wounds abroad, leaving Natasha initially distraught. She soon recovers her spirits, however, and Count Rostov takes her and Sonya to spend some time with a friend in Moscow.
Natasha visits the Moscow opera, where she meets Hélène and her brother Anatol. Anatol has since married a Polish woman whom he has abandoned in Poland. He is very attracted to Natasha and is determined to seduce her. Hélène and Anatol conspire together to accomplish this plan. Anatol kisses Natasha and writes her passionate letters, eventually establishing plans to elope. Natasha is convinced that she loves Anatol and writes to Princess Maria, Andrei’s sister, breaking off her engagement. At the last moment, Sonya discovers her plans to elope and foils them. Pierre is initially horrified by Natasha’s behavior, but realizes he has fallen in love with her. During the time when the Great Comet of 18112 streaks the sky, life appears to begin anew for Pierre.
Prince Andrei accepts coldly Natasha’s breaking of the engagement. He tells Pierre that his pride will not allow him to renew his proposal. Ashamed, Natasha makes a suicide attempt and is left seriously ill.
(Even I--contrary to popular belief--have been known to transgress...in one way or another.)
(I know it's hard to believe.)
Rick or Newt. Whoever doesn’t drop out 1st.
Where did it come from ?
you forgot the ‘/s’.
Newt fights! That is the under-reported characteristic the has many Repub voters cheering for him. Like Lincoln who went throught a dozen generals until he got that smoking, drinking, cussing, irreverant General U. S. Grant. He fights!
How can Newtie take his oath of office seriously when he's dishonored his wedding vows?
What a joke this has become....
Now way! He's a DNC fall guy. There's no way he can win, and even if he does, he is gonna Hoover us into even deeper depression.
You haven’t got the zot yet?
RIcks good too. Anyone but 0 or mini 0.
I said on Gingrich’s left but in the meantime went to the Newt page and figured it is M. Reagan. Thanks for your reply anyway.
What has one to do with the other?
How can we take serious the oath of office when the one taking it doesn't believe in Life, without which there is no Liberty, nor Pursuit of Happiness.
I think it’s best to have people aware of the flaws instead of hidden from the people like it is with 0bambi and his ilk.
How many people DON’T know of someone/family affected by divorce?
How many can throw stones today?
How many call themselves Christian, but are unwilling to forgive?
Nail, meet hammer. Isn’t it the truth. I am ASTOUNDED by my fellow extremely sinful and immoral Americans, plagued by a 50% divorce rate ...who act so SHOCKED over Newt’s past history. It’s unbelievable. This from a country aborting millions of children a year. You’d think people would have a bit of humility.
I also know PLENTY of people who call themselves Christian, sadly, in my own family, yet are the meanest, most unforgiving people I’ve ever met. Wish I didn’t know them, but I do. They are obviously out in full force. They are worse than the ones who have confessed their sins, in my mind.
At least we know about Newt’s past. We know nothing about Obama’s.
The first part of the epilogue begins with the wedding of Pierre and Natasha in 1813. It is the last happy event for the Rostov family, which is undergoing a transition. Count Rostov dies soon after, leaving his eldest son Nikolai to take charge of the debt-ridden estate.
Nikolai finds himself with the task of maintaining the family on the verge of bankruptcy. His abhorrence at the idea of marrying for wealth almost gets in his way, but finally he marries the now-rich Maria Bolkonskaya and in so doing also saves his family from financial ruin.
Nikolai and Maria then move to Bald Hills with his mother and Sonya, whom he supports for the rest of their life. Buoyed by his wife’s fortune, Nikolai pays off all his family’s debts. They also raise Prince Andrei’s orphaned son, Nikolai Andreyevich (Nikolenka) Bolkonsky.
As in all good marriages, there are misunderstandings, but the couplesPierre and Natasha, Nikolai and Mariaremain devoted to their spouses. Pierre and Natasha visit Bald Hills in 1820, much to the jubilation of everyone concerned. There is a hint in the closing chapters that the idealistic, boyish Nikolenka and Pierre would both become part of the Decembrist Uprising. The first epilogue concludes with Nikolenka promising he would do something with which even his late father “would be satisfied...” (presumably as a revolutionary in the Decembrist revolt).
The second part of the epilogue contains Tolstoy’s critique of all existing forms of mainstream history. He attempts to show that there is a great force behind history, which he first terms divine. He offers the entire book as evidence of this force, and critiques his own work. God, therefore, becomes the word Tolstoy uses to refer to all the forces that produce history, taken together and operating behind the scenes.
Zot??????? WHY? Because I had some positive things to say about Mitt?
I was hoping to see Newt on the Sunday morning news show today, but all I see is Santorum.
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