Napoleon's Wars: An International History, 1803-1815

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Overview


No military figure in history has been quite as polarizing as Napoleon Bonaparte. Was he a monster, driven by an endless, ruinous quest for military glory? Or a social and political visionary brought down by petty, reactionary kings of Europe? In the most definitive account to date, respected historian Charles Esdaile argues that the chief motivating factor for Napoleon was his insatiable desire for fame. More than a myth-busting portrait of Napoleon, however, this volume offers a panoramic view of the armed ...
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Overview


No military figure in history has been quite as polarizing as Napoleon Bonaparte. Was he a monster, driven by an endless, ruinous quest for military glory? Or a social and political visionary brought down by petty, reactionary kings of Europe? In the most definitive account to date, respected historian Charles Esdaile argues that the chief motivating factor for Napoleon was his insatiable desire for fame. More than a myth-busting portrait of Napoleon, however, this volume offers a panoramic view of the armed conflicts that spread so quickly out of revolutionary France to countries as remote as Sweden and Egypt. Napoleon's Wars seeks to answer the question, What was it that made the countries of Europe fight one another for so long and with such devastating results? Esdaile portrays the European battles as the consequence of rulers who were willing to take the immense risks of either fighting or supporting Napoleon-risks that resulted in the extinction of entire countries. This is history writing equal to its subject-grand and ambitious.
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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
"A welcome and well-written synthesis of recent scholarship." —-Kirkus
Telegraph (London)
Deft, authoritative, often strikingly counter-intuitive, this is the definitive word on the subject.
Library Journal

In direct contrast to Gen. Michel Franceschi and Ben Weider's Wars Against Napoleon: Debunking the Myth of the Napoleonic Wars, which claimed that Napoleon was a pacifistic victim of circumstances, comes a book that makes no attempt to hide his insatiable lust for military glory and, thus, power. Yet Esdaile (history, Univ. of Liverpool; The Peninsular War) does offer a distinct approach by writing a history of these wars that is not simply Francocentric but reflects the full European dimension of the conflicts. So the reader gets not only fresh information on such disparate actions as the Serbian revolt of 1804 and the Eastern and Ottoman fronts but a better understanding of the time period as a whole and Napoleon's historical place in it. Esdaile argues that the Napoleon we see today is the product of a very efficient propaganda machine begun on St. Helena by the emperor himself. Using contemporary sources describing the little Corsican, his resulting myth-busting portrait rings true. Placed within the author's panoramic view of the wars that spread so quickly across the European continent, it's a study that makes a compelling read. Recommended for all libraries.
—David Lee Poremba

From the Publisher
"A welcome and well-written synthesis of recent scholarship." —-Kirkus
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400139644
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/2008
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Library - Unabridged CD
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Charles Esdaile is a senior lecturer in history at the University of Liverpool. He is also the author of several books on history, including The Peninsular War, The Wars of Napoleon, The French Wars 1792–1815, and Spain in the Liberal Age. He lives near Formby, England. British-born Simon Prebble has built a successful career that spans the Atlantic. As a stage and television actor, he has played in everything from soaps to Shakespeare, but it is as a veteran narrator of over four hundred audiobooks that he has made his mark since coming to the United States in 1990. As one of AudioFile magazine's Golden Voices, Simon has received over twenty Earphones Awards and five Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Awards, and he has been a finalist fourteen times for an Audie Award, the audiobook industry's version of the Oscar. In 2006, Publishers Weekly named him Narrator of the Year, and he was named Booklist's 2010 Voice of Choice.
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