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Tolstoy's False Disciple: The Untold Story Of Leo Tolstoy And Vladimir Chertkov Hardcover – Nov 18 2014


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Strong Is the New Pretty

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus Books (Nov. 18 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605986402
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605986401
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.8 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #301,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

Popoff draws on long unavailable archival materials, including Chertkov's letters to examine the relationship that tore apart Tolstoy's family and threatened his literary legacy. Chertkov's motives may have gone beyond greed, obsession or love of fame. How could the author of some of the world's most psychologically penetrating fiction fall in love with a third-rate con man? — The New York Times Book Review

Popoff, who had exclusive access to Chertkov’s letters to Tolstoy, constructs a narrative of a toxic, controlling friendship, in which Chertkov manipulated Tolstoy for his own gain and damaged the aging author’s fragile relationships with his family. Popoff deftly interweaves archival and secondary sources. — The New Yorker

Popoff’s Tolstoy’s False Disciple ought to be seen as the bookend to her biography of Sophia: Having earlier set out to resurrect the reputation of Tolstoy’s wife, she has now set out to bury the reputation of the man considered to have been Tolstoy’s most ardent follower. Revelatory and deeply disturbing. — The Wall Street Journal

Ms. Popoff’s Tolstoy’s False Disciple ought to be seen as the bookend to her biography of Sophia: Having earlier set out to resurrect the reputation of Tolstoy’s wife, she has now set out to bury the reputation of the man considered to have been Tolstoy’s most ardent follower. Revelatory and deeply disturbing. Chertkov’s baleful influence has been noted by others before, but Ms. Popoff’s book is the most damning indictment to date. — Wall Street Journal

The strange tangled story of the friendship — perhaps love is a better word — between Tolstoy and Vladimir Chertkov has engaged, tantalized, and befuddled biographers and lovers of Tolstoy for a century or more. It’s a riveting tale of discipleship and betrayal, with many sides to every point. The mysteries have, to a wonderful degree, been explored in detail with a great deal of fresh evidence by Alexandra Popoff, a brilliant biographer and Russian scholar. I admire her work here immensely. — Jay Parini, author of "The Last Station"

Popoff’s writing flows with narrative ease, smoothly integrating historical data including information from memoirs written by friends, along with brief summaries of Tolstoy’s original writings alongside Chertkov’s alterations. Thanks to scholars and researchers like Popoff, much of Tolstoy’s original works can now be restored. — Author Link

An impressive work of seminal archival research and scholarship. A profound and invaluable contribution for students of Tolstoy's life and work. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented. — Midwest Book Review

Popoff, who had exclusive access to Chertkov’s letters to Tolstoy, constructs a narrative of a toxic, controlling friendship, in which Chertkov manipulated Tolstoy for his own gain and damaged the aging author’s fragile relationships with his family. — New Yorker

Well-researched. The book is fascinating—and it fills a gap, providing the first full account of the bizarre relationship between a great man and his 'moral antipode.' — Publishers Weekly

A well-written, polemical view of Tolstoy’s self-appointed vicar on earth. — The Spectator (UK)

About the Author

Alexandra Popoff is the author of the award-winning biography Sophia Tolstoy: A Biography and The Wives: The Women Behind Russia's Literary Giants, a Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year. She lives in Canada.


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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
Lawrence L. Willett
4.0 out of 5 starsChertkov, the devil's disciple.
April 10, 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
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jim zolnowski
5.0 out of 5 starsPresents a whole new side to Tolstoy's leading disciple. ...
December 9, 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
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Kindle Customer
2.0 out of 5 starsNot at all what I expected
June 5, 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
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E. B. MULLIGAN
4.0 out of 5 starsthey deserved each other
November 26, 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
10 people found this helpful.
Stephanie Wedekind
4.0 out of 5 starsFour Stars
May 5, 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
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