From New York Times bestselling author Paul Johnson, “a very readable and entertaining biography” (The Washington Post) about one of the most important figures in modern European history: Napoleon Bonaparte In an ideal pairing of author and subject, the magisterial historian Paul Johnson offers a vivid look at the life of the strategist, general, and dictator who conquered much of Europe. Following Napoleon from the barren island of Corsica to his early training in Paris, from his meteoric victories and military dictatorship to his exile and death, Johnson examines the origins of his ferocious ambition. In Napoleon's quest for power, Johnson sees a realist unfettered by patriotism or ideology. And he recognizes Bonaparte’s violent legacy in the totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century. Napoleon is a magnificent work that bears witness to one individual's ability to work his will on history.
*Includes pictures of Napoleon, Nelson, Wellington and important people, places, and events in their lives. *Includes maps of famous battles, including Trafalgar and Waterloo. *Answers common myths about Napoleon, including whether he was short, whether his men shot off the Sphinx's nose, whether he played chess, and whether he was poisoned. *Includes a Bibliography on each man for further reading. "Courage cannot be counterfeited. It is the one virtue that escapes hypocrisy." - Napoleon "England expects that every man will do his duty" - Horatio Nelson before the Battle of Trafalgar "Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won." - Duke of Wellington at Waterloo Trafalgar is one of Great Britain's most cherished victories, and Waterloo is the most famous battle in modern history if not all of history. On several occasions, Horatio Nelson foiled Napoleon's plans to lay the groundwork for an invasion of Britain, and he permanently established the Royal Navy's supremacy at Trafalgar. It would be the Duke of Wellington who would deliver the coup de grace to Napoleon 10 years later at Waterloo. The battle would end with the French suffering nearly 60% casualties, the end of Napoleon's reign, and the restructuring of the European map. Simply put, the next 200 years of European history can be traced back to the result of those two battles. When historians are asked to list the most influential people of the last 200 years, a handful of names might vary, but there is no question that the list will include Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), the most successful French leader since Charlemagne and widely acknowledged one of the greatest generals ever. Indeed, Napoleon was likely the most influential man of the 19th century, leaving an indelible mark on everything from the strategy and tactics of warfare to the Napoleonic Code that drafted laws across the continent. To defeat Napoleon, the Europeans had to form large coalitions multiple times, which helped bring about the entangling alliances that sparked World War I after Europe was rebuilt following Waterloo and the Congress of Vienna. Nelson is well known across the world for his decisive victory at Trafalgar, made all the more legendary by the fact that he was mortally wounded at the height of his greatest feat. And it is understandable that any man who could thwart Napoleon's ambitions as well as Nelson did would earn a place in the history books. But Nelson embodied every virtue of his homeland; a dashing, courageous military officer who was impeccably cultured, and, of course, the best at what he did. By the time of his death, Wellington had been prime minister twice, a shrewd personal advisor to four British monarchs and one of the nation's most prominent politicians for three decades. But despite his nearly four decades of peacetime service in and out of politics, Wellington has remained one of the titans of the 19th century because of one June day in 1815. Then, as now, the Duke of Wellington is best remembered for defeating Napoleon in the most famous battle of modern history at Waterloo. Even then, the fact Wellington is remembered for Waterloo belies his extraordinary military career, which saw him come up through fighting in the Netherlands and India before opposing Napoleon's forces on the Iberian Peninsula for several years. By the time Wellington took command of allied forces during the Hundred Days Campaign and decisively finished the Napoleonic Era at Waterloo, he had participated in about 60 battles and was one of Britain's greatest war heroes. Heroes of the Napoleonic Wars looks at the lives and legacies of the era's three most famous military leaders, but it also humanizes the men off the battlefield. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about Napoleon, Nelson and Wellington like you never have before.