Napoleon: A Life

Napoleon A Life The definitive biography of the great soldier statesman by the New York Times bestselling author of The Storm of War winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography and the Grand Prix of the

  • Title: Napoleon: A Life
  • Author: Andrew Roberts
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 452
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • The definitive biography of the great soldier statesman by the New York Times bestselling author of The Storm of War winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography and the Grand Prix of the Fondation Napoleon Austerlitz, Borodino, Waterloo his battles are among the greatest in history, but Napoleon Bonaparte was far than a military genius and astute leadeThe definitive biography of the great soldier statesman by the New York Times bestselling author of The Storm of War winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography and the Grand Prix of the Fondation Napoleon Austerlitz, Borodino, Waterloo his battles are among the greatest in history, but Napoleon Bonaparte was far 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 bestselling book of the nineteenth century An award winning historian, Roberts traveled to fifty three of Napoleon s sixty 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.From the Hardcover edition.

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    One thought on “Napoleon: A Life”

    1. In 1806, during the Battle of Jena, the philosopher Hegel went out to survey the scene from a hill top. He saw the emperor Napoleon ride past, and what he saw transfixed him. I quote: "I saw the Emperor, this world-spirit (Weltseele), go out from the city to survey his realm. It is a truly wonderful experience to see such an individual, on horseback, concentrating on one point, stretching over the world and dominating it." Andrew Roberts' view is slightly less positive. This biography is an atte [...]

    2. This is a life so big that 800+ pages can hardly contain it. Philip Dwyer started a more feasible format in: Napoleon Vol I: The Path to Power 1769 - 1799: Path to Power 1769 - 1799 v. 1 several years ago. Full books have been written about single weeks in his life. Andrew Roberts is to be saluted not only for his research, but for his ability to condense the outsized story of Napoleon Bonaparte into one book.Roberts brings out the best in his subject. He shows Napoleon's acts of empathy, his ab [...]

    3. Read by John Lee. ~33hoursDescription: 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 u [...]

    4. Gushing bio--unusual for an Englishman. Roberts claims that newly available letters present a vastly more favorable portrait than previously available to scholars. "All too often historians have taken at face value the biographies written by people around Napoleon, whereas many of them were deeply compromised, to the point of being worthless unless co firmed by as second source." The problem is that although Roberts tries to be balanced, and points out the warts, his over-the-top admiration for [...]

    5. A magnificent biography. The author notes that he has access to thousands of previously unavailable letters of Napoleon. These letters add a great richness to this volume, and provides a somewhat different picture of Napoleon than I had had before. One of the strengths, too, is that Andrew Roberts has a cool eye toward Napoleon. He speaks highly of his major accomplishments, such as a massive change in the legal system, and he criticizes him for his weaknesses--such as the Russian campaign, his [...]

    6. Confession off the bat: This is a great biography. Well written, well researched. Hagiographic perhaps, but not in a way that makes your teeth chatter. Maps are a little shaky at the beginning, but become better throughout. All in all, head and shoulders above almost all modern biographies.But this is Andrew Roberts here, writing about Napoleon, his hero! As such, let's hold him to a higher standard and see if he succeeds. Roberts openly admits that Napoleon is a hero of his. The book, as such, [...]

    7. Napoleon: A Life, written by Andrew Roberts, is an absolutely astounding biography on one of modern history's greatest conquerors, Napoleon Bonaparte. Born in Corsica and resentful of French rule over the island, he eventually gave up his nationalist views and joined the French army as an artillery officer. Rising through the ranks during France's bloody Revolutionary period, Napoleon eventually become the centre of a coup d'etat attempt by a number of conspirators to overthrow the ineffective a [...]

    8. After reading his excellent account of the Storm Of War, I had high expectations of Robert's newest release, his biography of Napoleon. I was not dissapointed.I suspect you can fill half of the New York's library with books dealing with Napoleon and as I understood these can be divided in two sorts: you either hate him, or you love him.Andrew Roberts is comfortably between these two camps. He does not praise him, but is here and there rather critical of Napoleon's decisions. He is unbiased and s [...]

    9. (Full Disclosure: I received an advance uncorrected copy of this book for free through ' First Reads program. However, the views expressed are my own and do not reflect that of the author, the publisher, or ). Like the great ancient conquerors which he admired, Napoleon stands as a colossus on the historical stage. Yet he is little known nor well understood by people today, especially as his reputation has been marred by superficial similarities to Hitler and the "Black Legend" of libelous claim [...]

    10. I have been fascinated with Napoleon for as long as I can remember. Needless to say I have read extensively about him. This new book about Napoleon was given to me by a friend who knows of my obsession.Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France and by many people’s reckoning the most brilliant general of modern times. As a child Napoleon studied the careers of history’s titans with a view to following their footsteps. He was a general by age 24 an emperor at age 34. He promoted on merit not birth [...]

    11. This review and others can be found on BW Book Reviews.3.5/5If there was a gif that summed me up with this book, it would be this:Basically, I literally know nothing about Napoleon. For most of the book, I legitimately thought that Napoleon was a part of the original Revolutionary government and then he weaved through to the top or was at the top for a while. That's why I was always super confused when I read about Marie Antoinette and why they never mentioned Napoleon. All because I never reall [...]

    12. I sat before this very daunting looking book, coming in at over 900 pages, feeling slightly excited as my expectations where high after Dr Roberts last offering. I have read a few books about Napoleons campaigns before but never had I taken a look at the entire life of the man. I am pleased to write that this book delivers an informative and enthralling read that sees the pages melt away as you are pulled into Napoleons life. This book is very balanced, with the author trying to peel back the st [...]

    13. I embarked on this great slab of a historical biography - 820 pages excluding sources and notes - in an attempt to understand to what extent Napoleon was truly "great", particularly after reading a popular biography of Josephine which seemed to sell him short.In the course of wading through the mud and slaughter of his interminable military campaigns, I concluded that he was a remarkable man whose greatness stemmed from enormous energy and vision, insatiable curiosity, the capacity to absorb a h [...]

    14. I read a review that said this was bias, that 'Great' is not a term we should use for Napoleon. First, this book is not bias and shows Napoleon warts and all. The author brings up contrary evidence from detractors but properly dismisses them as bias when appropriate. Second, in the concluding chapter it is pretty clear that Napoleon is a Great, and that his disaster's were merely the result of hubris, something that affects all Greats, from leading surgeons to Ronda Rousey. His legacy has lasted [...]

    15. I don't feel worthy to rate Andrew Roberts. I am speechless! How do you rate a giant scholar?! I first gave this book to my son so he could admire Napoleon and, sure enough, my son fell in love with the Napoleon presented to him by Andrew Roberts. He was glad to know that Napoleon didn't have much friends and he was alone most of the time at home reading and reading. I find the book amazing: it is both a story that a ten-year old son would enjoy and a well-researched history book for scholars to [...]

    16. excellent pro-biography of Napoleon based in part on new archival materialthe usual story (eg Andre Castelot's pro biography is still my #1 work on the subject, while Napoleon own memorial from St Helena is still excellent in the pro camp) but written in a modern style, emphasize the many positives of the Emperor, the context of the times (while on occasion arbitrary and tyrannical, his peers from the era, the famous dynasty but otherwise nobodies kings of Austria and Prussia and the young and c [...]

    17. Abandoned at a third of the way through. The book's getting great reviews so it must be one of those cases where the author and reader simply don't 'gel' but I'm finding it as turgid as wading through treacle. After reading some truly great, well-written histories and biographies over the last few years, this one is simply failing to inspire my interest - despite the fact that Napoleon must surely be one of the most fascinating characters in history. Oh well!

    18. Robert Andrews has created an historical masterpiece in this massive tome, a biography of Napoleon. Thank you and thank you again to Net Galley and Viking Adult Publishers for the ARC. Andrews is well known among historians; his scholarship and experience firmly establish him as an expert in the field of European history, especially military history and biography. The recent availability of a vast treasure-trove of primary documents made this biography possible, together with a tremendous amount [...]

    19. This fine biography is as thorough as it is balanced. The exhaustive research by Andrew Roberts included thousands of letters written by Napoleon that were not available to other biographers as well as letters written by others and memoirs of many people from the day. The balance comes from critical examination of the sources, Roberts discusses whether certain letters and memoirs were self serving or accurate and looks to other sources to aid in that balanceThe biography adds not often found nua [...]

    20. Prior to reading this, I had the perception that Napoleon was a vicious conqueror who ravaged his way through Eastern Europe. While not a saint (though he did try canonizing himself), Roberts paints a very fair, balanced and detailed account of his ascent to power, leadership abilities, governing philosophy, personal life, and ultimate demise. This book has meticulous detail of major campaigns in Egypt, Austria and Russia, much of which can be skimmed over, but I appreciate the amount of researc [...]

    21. This book is an absolutely fantastic biography of one of the largest lives ever lived. I consider myself to possess a decent knowledge of history, but the Napoleonic era is one place I do not know much. Perhaps it is the American education system to blame - I do not recall learning any European history after the Revolutionary war. Once the USA comes along, the rest of the world was ignored, at least up to WWI. My knowledge of Napoleon's life came from bits and pieces picked up in other reading, [...]

    22. It's already been a few weeks since I finished Napoleon, so unfortunately it's not as vivid in my memory as it once was. I procrastinated on writing a review here in part because I was conflicted on whether it was four-star or five-star material, and after some time to digest I've decided to bump it up to five.I had little to no interest in military history going into the book, and the fact that it consistently held my attention and even made me more and more engaged in the battle talk as the bo [...]

    23. This biography was extremely thorough and quite interesting, but I found it a bit of a slog. While I commend Roberts for packing so much into a single book, I feel like it was so dense that the readability was negatively impacted. For example, because so much of the text focuses on Napoleon's time as a general, numbers regarding casualty counts are given for nearly every single battle. What's more, hundreds of names of places and people are included, but not all of them are lasting settings or " [...]

    24. Did he make history or history made him?Did he revolutionize or revolution made him?Did he make war or war made him?This is the story of a man who not only read history as a school boy but also decided to write it. This was a man for whom the highest praise would be: Alexander, Caesar and Napolean Astounding book which was with me for one month.

    25. In this rich, vibrant, engaging, and accessible biography, Napoleon comes off as a soldier-statesman who had just the right balance of skill and luck and was always astute and flexible enough to come out on the winning side of pretty much everything and anything. Napoleon was nothing if not energetic and ready to tackle whatever problems arose, and Roberts does a great job fleshing out this side of him. A lot of times, Napoleon seemed to have a perfect grasp of both the big picture and all the d [...]

    26. If you have never heard of Napoleon Bonaparte, you are probably not from earth. Bonaparte was the ultimate product of the Enlightenment and thus his contributions to the world are exemplary of that. I could spend the next few words talking about his life, but why waste my time? Read the book for that. A few interesting things about Napoleon though:He wasn't actually French and did not consider himself French until adulthood, he was born in Corsica. His brothers and sisters mostly became rulers i [...]

    27. An amazingly well written book! It is clearly meticulously researched and Roberts is obviously incredibly passionate about the subject. Some have commented that this is a little too heavy for them, for me I found the narrative not to be too dry. Inevitably this book is not for the fainthearted given it's enormous size, however, don't be intimidated for if you are interested in reading just one book to make you an expert on Napoleon, this is it! If you are one who does not like the detail of batt [...]

    28. 'Yes, you must go; it is your destiny to do so. You were not made to die on this desert island.' - Madame Mère, Napoleon's Mother, whilst on Elba with Napoleon.Andrew Roberts' Napoleon: A Life covers from Napoleon's birth in 1769, to his death on St. Helena in 1821. Through an ambitious one-volume biography, Roberts' utilises the recent publications of Napoleon's thirty-three thousand letters to reveal Napoleon not only as the man who arguably created modern Europe, but as a man of the enlighte [...]

    29. The Napoleonic Wars have quite the reputation as the seminal event determining the course of the 19th century. From the increasing demands for liberal reforms to new methods of science and warfare to the rise of ethnostates such as Italy, Germany, and Poland. And as any turning point in history it also represents the end of a lot of themes too. The divine right of kings took a serious blow, as did the dynastic system of small scattered principalities, and it ended states such as the Holy Roman E [...]

    30. I am suffering from a mild Napoleon addiction, so I need to read something about the great man from time to time. His family, marshals & generals, mistresses, administrators and political & military opponents have become like characters in a narrative to me. Something in between a Shakespearian drama and a soap opera. My favourite Marshal is Louis-Nicolas Davout; Marie Walewska is the woman Napoleon should have married, if you ask me in the pub. But at the same time, it is about real his [...]

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