From a collection of short stories by Leo Tolstoy, What Men Live By, narrated by Mark T. Saintonge, offers both insights into 19th century Russian life and a strong theme, exploring what love can do for human beings. The lead character, Simon, a shoemaker, encounters a naked man leaning against the chapel and struggles to decide how to respond. Initially wary and reluctant to take any kind of action, Simon leads the man home and finds his wife less than accommodating.
Born in 1828, the celebrated author Leo Tolstoy is credited with some of the greatest works in world literature, including the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Royalties earned from the serialized version of Anna Karenina brought Tolstoy financial success, but he later experienced spiritual depression and found organized religion corrupt and unsatisfying. Tolstoy expressed his personal spiritual beliefs in a publication called The Mediator in 1883. What Men Live By echoes many of the ideas that became Tolstoy’s central focus until his death in 1910.