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 credited him with being 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. Resurrection is a nineteenth-century novel dealing with social criticism. A wealthy young Russian and a proud, unfortunate prostitute are involved in a murder trial. He recognizes the accused prostitute as a girl he seduced in his youth. Tormented by a sense of responsibility that completely disrupts his life, he determines to follow her to Siberia and marry her. This novel, critical of the church and the legal and penal systems of modern society, led to Tolstoy's excommunication from the church.