In this passage (Volume III, Part Two, Chapter XXIX), Tolstoy is talking about historical events and how we reconstruct them. He writes, "In offering and accepting battle at Borodino, Kutuzov and Napoleon acted involuntarily and senselessly. And only later did historians furnish the already accomplished facts with ingenious arguments for the foresight and genius of the commanders, who, of all the involuntary instruments of world events, were the most enslaved and involuntary agents."
In this collage I used pages from a book about World War I, now infamous for the senseless loss of so many lives. -- Lola
Lola Baltzell from page 191-192, Volume 2 of original text collage made 4/8/11 Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 754-755