Book - 2002
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The very name, Napoleon Bonaparte, still enthralls. Ever since this towering and terrible genius conquered Europe, he has been endlessly debated, compared, and made an icon. In Napoleon , the great dictator's energy and acumen are matched by those of his biographer, Paul Johnson, whose histories have been lauded as "fresh, readable, provocative . . . wise" ( Los Angeles Times ). Here Johnson profiles "the grandest possible refutation of those who hold that events are governed by forces, classes, economics, and geography rather than the powerful wills of men and women."

With masterly eloquence, Napoleon charts Bonaparte's career from the barren island of Corsica and his early training in Paris-he was a bold soldier with an uncanny gift for math, maps, and strategy-through high-profile victories in Italy, military dictatorship, and campaigns across Europe to his end on the forsaken isle of St. Helena. In Napoleon's insatiable hunger for power, Johnson sees a realist unfettered by patriotism or ideology, a brilliant opportunist and propagandist who fulfilled his ambition in the aftermath of the French Revolution. He interprets Napoleon's life in the trajectory of his times, revealing how his complex and violent legacy seeded totalitarian regimes in the twentieth century and sounds an alert to us in the twenty-first.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2002.
ISBN: 9780670030781
Branch Call Number: 944.0509 NAPOLEON
Characteristics: xii, 190 pages ; 20 cm.


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Jul 17, 2014

Overall a fairly good book. The major downside, however, is a lack of book size. Due to the book's small size the author spends little time on Napoleon's use of military strategy. Various battles are sometimes explored in-depth, while others are only hurriedly explained. Good for a quick synopsis of Bonaparte's life and military campaigns.

PADRAEG Oct 23, 2011

Fantastic book, from an author known to write long detailed histories. Johnson teaches so much history of all Europe, I can't imagine how he kept it so short, while covering the significant facts. It is now clear how evil was Napoleon, however charming. He may have served as role model for Hitler, even more than Turds' genocide vs Armenia.


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