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Napoleon: A Biography

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When we seek an example of great leaders with unalloyed courage, the person who comes to mind is Winston Churchill: the iconic, visionary war leader immune from the consensus of the day, who stood firmly for his beliefs when everyone doubted him. But how did young Winston become Churchill What gave him the strength to take on the superior force of Nazi Germany when bombs rained on London and so many others had caved In this landmark biography of Winston Churchill based on extensive new material, the true genius of the man, statesman, and leader can finally be fully understood.

Ulysses S. Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and an inept businessman or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War. But these stereotypes don't come close to capturing him, as Chernow reveals in his masterful biography, the first to provide a complete understanding of the general and president whose fortunes rose and fell with dizzying speed and frequency.

Andrew Roberts's Napoleon is the first one-volume biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon's thirty-three thousand letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation. At last we see him as he was: protean multitasker, decisive, surprisingly willing to forgive his enemies and his errant wife Josephine. Like Churchill, he understood the strategic importance of telling his own story, and his memoirs, dictated from exile on St. Helena, became the single best-selling book of the 19th century.

An award-winning historian, Roberts traveled to 53 of Napoleon's 60 battle sites, discovered crucial new documents in archives, and even made the long trip by boat to St. Helena. He is as acute in his understanding of politics as he is of military history. Here at last is a biography worthy of its subject: magisterial, insightful, beautifully written, by one of our foremost historians.

Written with great energy and authority - and using the newly available personal archives of Napoleon himself - the first volume of a majestic two-part biography of the great French emperor and conqueror.

List of Maps xiiiList of Illustrations xvAcknowledgements xxiiThe Bonaparte Family Trees xxxiiiIntroduction xxxivPart 1 Rise1 Corsica 32 Revolution 293 Desire 534 Italy 745 Victory 1056 Peace 1387 Egypt 1618 Acre 1859 Brumaire 206Part 2 Mastery10 Consul 23111 Marengo 25012 Lawgiver 27013 Plots 28514 Amiens 30415 Coronation 32716 Austerlitz 35717 Jena 39118 Blockades 42219 Tilsit 44620 Iberia 46421 Wagram 49822 Zenith 527Part 3 Denouement23 Russia 55524 Trapped 58025 Retreat 60926 Resilience 63627 Leipzig 66228 Defiance 68829 Elba 71330 Waterloo 74031 St Helena 770Epilogue 805Notes 811Bibliography 859Index 889What People are Saying About ThisJay WinikWith his customary flair and keen historical eye, Andrew Roberts has delivered the goods again. This is the best single one-volume biography of Napoleon in English for the last four decades. A tour de force that belongs on every history lovers bookshelf! --Jay Winik, bestselling author of The Great Upheaval and April 1865

A huge, rich, deep, witty, humane and unapologetically admiring biography that is a pleasure to read. The Napoleon painted here is a whirlwind of a man—not only a vigorous and supremely confident commander, but an astonishingly busy governor, correspondent and lover, too...To dive into Roberts's new book is to understand—indeed, to feel—why this peculiarly brilliant Corsican managed for so long to dazzle the world.

Is another long life of Napoleon really necessary On three counts, the answer given by Andrew Roberts's impressive book is an emphatic yes. The most important is that this is the first single-volume general biography to make full use of the treasure trove of Napoleon's 33,000-odd letters, which began being published in Paris only in 2004. Second, Roberts, who has previously written on Napoleon and Well


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