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As stated in its introduction, this book is neither a biography nor a chronological history of Napoléon. It is an insightful treatise on the emperor's generalship, written by an officer in the British army. Major General Riley (Senior British Military Advisor, United States Central Command; Napoleon and the World War, 1813) opens with an essay on generalship, setting the parameters for Napoléon's achievement and goes on, in successive chapters, to discuss him as a strategist, coalition general, operational commander, and battlefield commander. There follow two chapters on counter-insurgency and logistics, areas that are very often ignored in these studies. Three case studies follow: Napoléon's first campaign in Italy, the conquest of Prussia in 1806, and the Battle of the Nations in 1813. All provide good discussion of Napoléon at those three stages in his career. The final chapter discusses Napoléon's personal qualities as a general and his legacy. The author's assessment is fairly objective: in summary, that Napoléon was an innovative general and the best in the field until the attrition of over a decade of conflict caught up with him. Recommended.
—David Lee Poremba