Napoleon / Edition 1

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The historiography on Napoleon rivals that of the French Revolution itself: his contemporaries and each generation since have endlessly reinterpreted the actions and motives of the man who so completely dominated his age. Geoffrey Ellis's eagerly awaited Profile examines our current understanding of Napoleon the man, and explores the hugely different responses he has provoked across the years. What he provides is not a standard biography, or indeed a narrative account at all, but a thematic reappraisal of Napoleon's life and career. It illuminates not only Napoleon's personality and policies, and the nature and aims of Napoleonic imperialism; it also throws light on the very process of history-making itself. The book covers old ground afresh, as well as new: for the first time since Pieter Geyl's celebrated study of 1949, Geoffrey Ellis reassesses all the "classic" themes of Napoleonic historiography in the light of the latest research into the political, military and social structures of the Consulate and Empire. Approaching his subject through a series of key topics, he presents Napoleon as the focus of an essentially personalized system of power - a system which was progressively embroidered for projection to the public at the time, and which then helped generate the prolific Napoleonic legend after his final defeat in 1815.

A biography of the military genius, who in 1804 crowned himself Emperor of the French and established a vast European empire.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780582025479
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 8/28/1997
  • Series: Profiles in Power Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.45 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introduction 1
Ch. 2 Prelude to Power: The Formative Years, 1769-99 8
Napoleon's Youth and Education 9
Soldier of the Revolution 18
'A Dazzling Fame' 23
From Egypt to Brumaire 29
The Fortunes of the Clan 32
Ch. 3 The Elaboration of Power: Napoleonic Government 37
Republican Legacy and Imperial Vision 38
The Treatment of the Opposition 53
The Concordat 59
The Reorganization of French Finances 66
The Judicial System 73
Ch. 4 The Territorial and Dynastic Extensions of Power: From Empire to 'Grand Empire' 81
Conquest, Annexation, and the Satellite States 82
The Grand Army 87
The Continental Blockade 101
Temporal Power versus Spiritual Authority 112
Ch. 5 The Social Accretions of Power: The Imperial Notables, Nobility, and 'Spoils System' 125
The Revolutionary Land Settlement 126
The Notables 129
The Imperial Nobility 132
The 'Grand Empire' in Napoleon's 'Spoils System' 136
The Fate of the Old Nobility 141
Ch. 6 Representations of Power, For and Against: Public Opinion, Education, and the Arts 155
The Personalization of Power: The Visual Arts 156
The Press, Censorship, and State Propaganda 168
Education and the Higher Institutions of Learning 171
Literature 178
Ch. 7 The Historiographical Images of Power 189
Napoleon on Napoleon 191
How Others Viewed Napoleon: The Early Writings 197
The Past Related to the Present 214
In Search of a Grand Theme 223
Ch. 8 Conclusion: The Real Legacy 231
Bibliographical Essay 238
Chronology 252
Maps 259
Index 271
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