Robert Asprey is a former U.S. Marine captain and an accomplished and esteemed military historian.
The Rise Of Napoleon Bonaparteby Robert Asprey
Ever since 1821, when he died at age fifty-one on the forlorn and windswept island of St. Helena, Napoleon Bonaparte has been remembered as either demi-god or devil incarnate. In The Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte, the first volume of a two-volume cradle-to-grave biography, Robert Asprey instead treats him as a human being. Asprey tells this fascinating, tragic tale
Ever since 1821, when he died at age fifty-one on the forlorn and windswept island of St. Helena, Napoleon Bonaparte has been remembered as either demi-god or devil incarnate. In The Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte, the first volume of a two-volume cradle-to-grave biography, Robert Asprey instead treats him as a human being. Asprey tells this fascinating, tragic tale in lush narrative detail. The Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte is an exciting, reckless thrill ride as Asprey charts Napoleon's vertiginous ascent to fame and the height of power. Here is Napoleon as he was-not saint, not sinner, but a man dedicated to and ultimately devoured by his vision of himself, his empire, and his world.
- Basic Books
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- 5.50(w) x 8.75(h) x 1.50(d)
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I enjoy history, but most of my knowledge is 20-th century US history. Before picking up the book, I knew very little about this era, and I have to say that the book was easy to read, informative, educational, and insightful. The author analyzes Napoleon's contributions and paints a favorable picture of him. It is hard to disagree with this, as he was a superb military leader, as well as a beneficent leader of men and of his country. Short chapters are a great help. The reader is not overwhelmed in detail. I would just point out that some knowledge of the politics surrounding the French Revolution would be helpful to the reader. Otherwise excellent and clearly written.
Highly recommend. Why isnt the second volume available fir the Nook?
The story of Napoleon Bonaparte is one of the truly great stories of history and could be told well by virtually anyone. Robert Asprey is no exception. The tale and the book are both gripping and compelling. However, Asprey dallies a bit much on numbers of 'cannon' and 'biscut' and not enough time on the great historical ripples Napoleon caused, or the great aura and the great essence of one of the most influential and genius men history has seen. Also, there are surprisingly few anecdotes (the book written afterall by a former Marine captain) of Napoleon's actions which so endeared him to his men. Still, the book is a great read; those interested in Napoleon should enjoy it with no small degree of zeal. To get the slightest atom of feeling as though one is living in the mind of a great man like Napoleon or Churchill is always wonderful beyond words.
In what is perhaps the first full-length biography of Napoleon in English of the twenty-first century, Robert Asprey turns to the nineteenth century for his inspiration. Asprey, a former U.S. Marine captain, has previously written on military topics. The present volume covers Napoleon's life up to his stunning victory at Austerlitz. Primarily a military history, in spite of Asprey's apparent aspirations as revealed in his 'Note to the Reader,' Asprey glosses over lightly Napoleon's political achievements. Asprey points out Napoleon's egoism, his ambition, his quick temper, all of his faults, but does not dwell on them unduly. The events of Napoleon's life are given precedence over moralizing about or psychoanalyzing that life. Written in forty-eight short chapters, the book is based entirely on secondary sources, both in English and in French. Asprey relies largely on the classic work of historians of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for his sources, though he does make extensive use of research done by modern historians in journals and in papers presented to the Consortium on Revolutionary Europe. And Asprey often lets Napoleon speak for himself through liberal use of the Emperor's voluminous correspondence. Asprey has taken a fresh, if somewhat superficial, look at Napoleon's life. The prose is straightforward, factual and unadorned. It lacks the élan that the subject lends itself to and there are no literary flourishes or vivid descriptions of battles. I get no feeling of an 'old soldier' writing of another old soldier as I do when reading John Elting's books on the era. The book is factual and informative and can be recommended especially to those new to Napoleon and his life. It would make a fine companion to Vincent Cronin's Napoleon Bonaparte which, while laudatory, does give a much better picture of the non-military side of Napoleon's life. I look forward to the second volume.