Napoleon

Napoleon

by Paul Johnson
3.3 14

Hardcover(LARGEPRINT)

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Napoleon 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
LEVjr More than 1 year ago
Other than myths and what little I learned in school about Napoleon, I hadn't read anything about him. I like biographies and I seem to lean toward reading many that most people have little interest in. Very informative and provided me with a great deal of facts about his life (strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes; how he impacted Europe and the rest of the world), etc.).
Talonn More than 1 year ago
It's not easy to be objective towards a complicated man who lived in a complicated and agitated era, but Johnson takes his bias too far. On top of that, several of his facts are completely contradictory and his sources are questionable (Bourienne seems to be sourced an awful lot, and it's generally agreed by historians...ahem, educated historians that Bourienne's memoirs are unreliable at best). If you're looking for an objective view of Napoleon, look elsewhere, not this slab of garbage.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Johnson is fooling himself if he thinks that anyone with a brain would believe his nonsense. I'd love to know how he did his research, because this book is filled with mistakes. Mistakes that one would not think could be in a book that actually gets published. Johnson apparently believed that Lucien and Louis Bonaparte were the same man. He does not even get the Balcombe family name right. And countless other errors that makes one think he wrote the book purely from memory, and he must awfully forgetful. Don't bother buying this book, you could get two true books for the price of this falsehood. Terrible work
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This small book by Paul Johnson sees Napoleon as the precursor of the wars and totalitarian regimes of the 20th century. To Johnson Napoleon begat Lenin, Stalin, Hitler Mao, Kim Il Sung, Castro, Peron, Saddam Hussein, Ceausescu, and Gadhafi. In fact Johnson facilely evokes Hitleresque and Stalinesque imagery repeatly throughout the book. But as Pieter Geyl warned, comparisons of Hitler with Napoleon could only benefit the former. The book seems almost to have been written from memory. Mistakes abound--Lucien Bonaparte is repeatedly referred to as the King of Holland, Betsy Balcombe becomes Betsy Briars, the Napoleonic electorate was "smaller than the one that produced the...lower house under the ancien régime," Napoleon's artillery drowned 2,000 Russians by firing "red-hot shot" into frozen ponds, Charles XII was king of Sweden during this period and Wellington's Peninsular army was made up of British troops and "Spanish auxiliaries." Johnson retails rumor like a gossip columnist-Napoleon's mother had a "leisurely affair" with Marbeuf, Napoleon was a bad lover. Johnson's writing style also produces strange turns of phrase that imply things that are just not true--the Directory followed the Terror; Napoleon instituted conscription, the metric system and the secret police (or that the Revolution had instituted the prefectorial corps); Napoleon is blamed for massacres in Switzerland while he was cut off in Egypt; or Johnson's comparisons of casualties between the French armies fighting in 1805-1809 and Wellington's Peninsular campaigns. It is hard to say whether these are deliberate distortions or not. According to Johnson, Wellington wore is hat "fore and aft" because he, unlike Napoleon, whose hat was worn from "side to side," liked to "raise his hat, out of courtesy and return salutes." Johnson contends it was "British efforts to circumvent Bonaparte's Continental System [that]...eventually drove the United States into war with the British Empire." According to Johnson the three most important men in Napoleon's administration were Talleyrand, Fouche and Vivant Denon! Johnson proposes in his introduction to examine Napoleon's life "unromantically, skeptically, and searchingly." I guess two out of three isn't bad. He certainly has removed all the "romance" from Napoleon's career, and he is skeptical. But as a biography "searching" for the real Napoleon, I think it fails. Johnson's characterization of the "bad" Napoleon is as much of a cardboard cutout of the "Man" as the worst hagiographies that Johnson derides. There is a place for an intelligent, modern "pricking" of the balloon of Napoleonic myth and legend, but Johnson, like Schom, seems to have merely run wild in the nineteenth century "Napoleon as Ogre" school of historiography. Lacking any fresh insights, with no new ideas, retailing a mixture of hoary nineteenth century myths and ahistorical twentieth century biases, the book is superficial at best. Considering the final product, the price tag seems high for such a lightweight book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rp isn't dying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What happened?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No. Thats not the cause. They have stopped selling NOOKs thats have reviews...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So soon Evill why beat good
Guest More than 1 year ago
This essay is devoted to consider the trajectory of Napoleon throught his war campaigns, government and vision of the world. Johnson does a good job to study in a brief manner the complexity of this man and his age. No doubt Napoleon was a superb mind and his will power is second to none. However, the accussations of Napoleon as creator of the massive wars and tyrannies that would overcome in the 20th century are quite fair. This titan changed the landscape of human history to worst in many spheres. Let's agree Johnson has some 'british' bias towards Napoleon, but his essay is enlightening.