The Age of Napoleon : The Story of Civilization

  • by Will Durant, Ariel Durant
  • Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki
  • Series: The Story of Civilization
  • 44 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

An engrossing volume on European civilization by Pulitzer Prize-winning historians Will and Ariel Durant.
The Age of Napoleon, the 11th and final volume of the Story of Civilization, surveys the amazing chain of events that wrenched Europe out of the Enlightenment and into the age of democracy. In this masterful work, listeners will encounter the French Revolution from the storming of the Bastille to the guillotining of the king; the revolution's leaders - Danton, Desmoulins, Robespierre, and Saint-Just - all cut down by the reign of terror they inaugurated; Napoleon's meteoric rise from provincial Corsican military student to emperor and commander of the largest army in history; Napoleon's fall - his army's destruction in the snows of Russia, his exile to Elba, his escape and reconquest of the throne, and his ultimate defeat at Waterloo by the combined forces of Europe; and the birth of Romanticism and the dawning of a new age of active democracy and a rising middle class, laying the foundation for a new era.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A gift to humanity

I've just spent 20 months absorbing the entire 11 volume series during my commute to work. Every day, I could not wait to listen. When I heard the last sentence of the last series spoken, I felt as though my life had reached a new epoch - crossing some type of threshold summing up my understanding about the nature of man and the history of our civilization.

This work by Durant is not just a record of history tinged with philosophy, but a gift to posterity by a lifetime of research and a craft of language distilled into a masterpiece of art.

There is far too much information to retain in one reading so I've decided to start listening to the series again from the beginning.

Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Durant.
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- Eric


I have been sampling The Great Courses and other audible sources on the French revolution without satisfaction. I should have known better. The reason is simply that the title "The Age of Napoleon" did not properly register. Napoleon rose after the great events of The French Revolution.

This book quickly addresses those earlier years as an introduction to Napoleon. Durant simply does everything with excellence. I became suspicious of The Great Courses exposition when I could not make heads nor tails out of the "neckless" scandal even after three hearings. A google search on the topic showed her lecture as hopeless.

Durant does not even mention that scandal. I will continue with the tedious alternative sources but they are, so far, pathetic. This is an early review and I post it as a caution only.

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- David "Hellicopter Man"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-18-2015
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.