2014 • 926 pages


Average rating4.7


I've had a passing interest in Napoleon since I was a young man, but only in the last handful of years has that interest developed into something more like an enthusiasm for learning about this charismatic leader, the French Revolution, and the various Napoleonic Wars.

Napoleon Bonaparte lived an adventure filled and full life, even having died young at age 52. He was at once a brilliant tactician (having only lost 7 out of the 60 battles he was in), a superb statesman (introducing legislation and policies that would shape France for generations to come), and occasionally a monster.

This book dives deep into his early years on Corsica, and tracks his meteoric rise through the ranks from a young Lieutenant to the Emperor of the Republic of France. It does a good job of providing a birds eye view of the major battles, and perhaps most importantly paints a vivid picture of the man - his habits, his likes and dislikes, and his demeanour. It talks about the card games he liked to play, the way he drank his coffee, his morning habits, and how long he slept. All of this helps paint a picture of the man.

I could easily read this again and probably absorb just as much as I did the first time around, and I just might. Terrific book.

March 29, 2023Report this review