Spent a lot of time with the internet regarding translations and decided to go for the Anthony Briggs translation for two reasons: 1. All in English 2. The names of the characters are consistent through the book.
There are a lot of resources out there to help support your reading of this book. But to me the most important resources is one that helps me see why the book is important and should be kept and read. I am going to post one of them because I think it has helped be see more of why it is a great book.
The CodeX Cantina Summary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh5kUrqGWlI
Overall when I closed the book my first thoughts were that these characters seemed either spoiled or innocent with no real mentoring involved. They were left to themselves to figure out life. Hmmm kind of applies to today.
As I ponder War & Peace one of my thoughts is that I don't want to identify with Pierre. I don't want to feel as lost and confused as he seems to be. In all his attempts to find peace, he could not find it until the epilogue. Yet that is probably what did happen and does happen with many of us. We have many experiences that knock us around and reject us when all we want to do is be accepted and do something with our lives. How different Pierre would be if there was a mentor who could help save him from himself. A mentor who could have helped him process his wants and weaknesses directing him toward peace and solving the war within him. As much as I don't want to identify with Pierre, I have walked that same path for quite a bit of my life.
I do believe classics can be that mentor in some ways but know that classics alone is the long hard way. I have had to re-read and re-read some books to figure out what they were saying to me. Some I have been re-reading since my teen years and it took discussion with others that have read that book to get what I needed out of it. Reading is a great start but reading alone may not help many of us. After all, Pierre had a Western education yet it did not help him find the peace he was looking for. I know people who have read a lot of books but they did not know how to let the books change them and didn't have people around them that helped them through the process. When I first started trying to get a leadership education my finances were very tight and I was not in or near a TJEd community. I had to really dig to begin to understand what a classic could offer me. Many times I didn't gain as much as I hoped (or expected). Things started changing when I worked to form a community where I could discuss ideas and make commitments to others. I don't have an in-person community but luckily technology helped and allows me to connect with others that are willing to commit time and energy to understanding classics.
My finances are still limited but I know that it's critical for me to be in a community (or 2) to keep myself growing and understanding. I know that all things come at the right time in the right way but how I wish there were more options available to help my growth when I was attempting to do a leadership education in my home. Hopefully, at least I provided a better starting place for my family because of what I did attempt. My children will be hopefully picking up at around the same level as Pierre and Natasha's children are instead of where Pierre and Natasha started or their parents.
However, in our world, there seems to be is a lack of people who have a 'basic understanding of natural law and the mores of principled behavior'. We have a lot of people who are just looking to attend the next soiree just like in the story. Or looking for the next war so that they can feel alive and able to achieve honor and glory.
More than ever we need to be able to understand what education is truly about and understand how to find our place in the world in a what that makes the world a better place.