The definitive biography of the great soldier-statesman by the New York Times best-selling author of The Storm of War.
Austerlitz, Borodino, Waterloo: His battles are among the greatest in history, but Napoleon Bonaparte was far more than a military genius and astute leader of men. Like George Washington and his own hero Julius Caesar, he was one of the greatest soldier-statesmen of all times.
Andrew Roberts's Napoleon is the first one-volume biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon's thirty-three thousand letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation. At last we see him as he was: protean multitasker, decisive, surprisingly willing to forgive his enemies and his errant wife Josephine. Like Churchill, he understood the strategic importance of telling his own story, and his memoirs, dictated from exile on St. Helena, became the single best-selling book of the 19th century.
An award-winning historian, Roberts traveled to 53 of Napoleon's 60 battle sites, discovered crucial new documents in archives, and even made the long trip by boat to St. Helena. He is as acute in his understanding of politics as he is of military history. Here at last is a biography worthy of its subject: magisterial, insightful, beautifully written, by one of our foremost historians.
"The pleasures of Roberts's big, richly detailed biography of the great French conqueror are enhanced in this outstanding audiobook production. John Lee is a steady and agreeable narrator, and a good choice for a work this long. Based on the recent full publication of the 33,000 letters Napoleon wrote in his lifetime, the narrative offers a close-up and largely sympathetic view of one of history's most interesting, accomplished, and - yes - likable personalities. Lee maintains the fine balance between intimacy and perspective, as well as between Napoleon's current and former reputation, to make this one of the stellar histories and audiobook adaptations of this year." (AudioFile)
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This is the first book I have read on Napoleon and I have since watched a number of documentaries about him, including one with the author debating another Napoleon expert as to whether Napoleon should be called great - the author argued he should. With all this accumulated knowledge, I recommend this book. I thought the author did an excellent job of detailing, and in some cases I do mean detailing, the events of Napoleon's life. What I liked most is that the author gave different points of view on certain events, explained his conclusion and why he came to that conclusion. It showed he thought about the issues.
What a dynamo!
- Tad Davis