Minister of Police Joseph Fouché was universally distrusted, feared, and hated in his time, but was nevertheless considered indispensable. In Medusa's Head, Rand Mirante recounts the chameleonic and astonishing career of Napoleon's security chief, who created the modern police state and wielded immense power that threatened the other main organs of government. Fouché was one of the most important, fascinating, and controversial figures of the French Revolution, the First Empire, and the Bourbon Restoration, and this biography captures and unravels the highlights of Fouché's life, including his infamous roles as:
A priest-in-training who became a radical Jacobin and de-Christianizer
A regicide who cast a dramatic swing vote for Louis XVI's immediate execution
The grim and remorseless "Butcher of Lyon"
Mastermind of the conspiracy that sent Robespierre to the guillotine
The head of Napoleon's police - privy to everyone's secrets, shaping the media, deploying 10,000 informants in Paris alone, and securing funding from the Empire's casinos and brothels
Cunning enabler of Napoleon's 1799 coup, and subsequent repeated betrayer of the Emperor
Acting president after Waterloo and traitor to France
Louis XVIII's Minister of Police, in spite of his responsibility for the death of the King's brother
A wealthy but disgraced exile who met an unusual end in Trieste on the Adriatic
Medusa's Head provides fresh insights and perspectives on this enormously influential and fearsome individual.