Leo Tolstoy had a profound influence on people through out the Western world. Leo Tolstoy was a Russian novelist, essayist, dramatist and philosopher. Tolstoy was a member of the aristocratic Tolstoy family. He was known as an educational reformer, pacifist and Christian anarchist. His masterpiece War and Peace made him one of the world's greatest novelists. His ability to depict life in 19th century Russia made him a leader in realist fiction. Tolstoy's stand on nonviolent resistance influenced twentieth century people such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi. The Cossacks written in 1863 describes the life of the people through a story of the love between a Cossack girl and a Russian aristocrat.