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Eminence: Cardinal Richelieu and the Rise of France

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2011

    Must Read!

    Jean-Vincent Blanchard breaks down and show the truth behind the truth of Richelieu brilliantly. Richeliue is a political genius and one of the most successful politicians ever and this book is an amazing tribute to him. I thank the author, I have been waiting for a biography on Richelieu for month's now

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2012

    Blanchard has tackled a difficult subject since both the life an

    Blanchard has tackled a difficult subject since both the life and times of Richelieu were reflective of the complexities of the late Middle Ages, partly because of the geopolitical structure of western Europe, partly because of the multitude of rulers and regents involved. Apart from the fact that Blanchard's style is slightly wooden (probably in part resulting from the fact that many translations are incorporated in the text), his biography is reminiscent of a sightseeing tour on a fast moving bus: you have the opportunity to see virtually everything of interest, but no time to absorb what you see or put anything in context. The absence of contemporaneous maps (as already mentioned by another reviewer) is a distinct disadvantage. Most readers will associate "France" with the country in its 21st century borders, and to guide the reader through the maze of what was an independent kingdom at the time, and what was actually part of Louis XIII's France, is better illustrated by maps than casual text references (of which many also lack clarity). More importantly, the real political strategy behind Richelieu's acting as First Minister is kept vague and is rarely addressed. What was actually the reason for the constant wars in any corner of the realm - was it to quash rebellions, to expand the realm, to secure it? Blanchard has been given a wealth of information and sources, and he has managed to place it into a timeline, but instead of evaluating Richelieu in the six pages of the "Conclusions" (which also fails to display any significant depth), the reasoning behind his actions as well as the assessment of the person as such could (and should) have been a more central theme. The title "Cardinal Richelieu and the rise of France" is also somewhat confusing since it appears that during Richelieu's time, a nearly equal number of battles were lost and won - and why did this lead to the "rise" of France?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2013

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