This is a well written and well researched book, but it is the most anti-Napoleon book I have ever read. The author gives the devil his due, acknowledging Napoleon’s outstanding abilities as a battlefield commander, but other than that, he has nothing nice to say about the great man. And he takes the peculiar position that the traditional monarchies and aristocracies of Europe were actually honorable and benevolent, a most unusual position for an American historian. There is plenty of Napoleonic dirt to dig up, and Schom dishes it with a little too much obvious relish, but after reading this book one can only conclude that the Corsican was mostly a force for evil rather than good. Still, Napoleon was the outstanding personality in nineteenth century European history, and I think he deserves a little more respect from his biographer.
Apr 09 2008
Napoleon Bonaparte by Alan Schom
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