Napoleon: Book summary and reviews of Napoleon by Andrew Roberts

Napoleon

A Life

by Andrew Roberts

Napoleon by Andrew Roberts X
Napoleon by Andrew Roberts
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2014
    976 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

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 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. This voluminous work is likely to set the standard for subsequent accounts of ­Napoleon's life." - Library Journal

"This is a definitive account that dispels many of the myths that surrounded Napoleon from his lifetime to the present day." - Publishers Weekly

"This 976-page magnum opus is the first to fully utilize the recent publication of the French conqueror's 33,000 letters." - Barnes and Noble

"Is another long life of Napoleon really necessary? On three counts, the answer given by Andrew Roberts's impressive book is an emphatic yes. The most important is that this is the first single-volume general biography to make full use of the treasure trove of Napoleon's 33,000-odd letters, which began being published in Paris only in 2004. Second, Roberts, who has previously written on Napoleon and Wellington, is a masterly analyst of the French emperor's many battles. Third, his book is beautifully written and a pleasure to read." - The Economist

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Author Information

Andrew Roberts Author Biography

Photo: Nancy Ellison

Andrew Roberts is the bestselling author of The Storm of War, Masters and Commanders, Napoleon and Wellington, and Waterloo. A Fellow of the Napoleonic Institute, he has won many prizes, including the Wolfson History Prize and the British Army Military Book Award, writes frequently for The Wall Street Journal, and has written and presented a number of popular documentaries. He lives in New York City.

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