Napoleon: A Life (Hardcover)
The definitive biography of Napoleon -- hailed as "magnificent" by The Economist.
"What a novel my life has been!" Napoleon once said of himself. Born into a poor family, the callow young man was, by twenty-six, an army general. Seduced by an older woman, his marriage transformed him into a galvanizing military commander. The Pope crowned him as Emperor of the French when he was only thirty-five. Within a few years, he became the effective master of Europe, his power unparalleled in modern history. His downfall was no less dramatic.
The story of Napoleon has been written many times. In some versions, he is a military genius, in others a war-obsessed tyrant. Here, historian Adam Zamoyski cuts through the mythology and explains Napoleon against the background of the European Enlightenment, and what he was himself seeking to achieve. This most famous of men is also the most hidden of men, and Zamoyski dives deeper than any previous biographer to find him. Beautifully written, Napoleon brilliantly sets the man in his European context.
About the Author
"It is the outstanding merit of Adam Zamoyski's fine new biography, Napoleon: A Life, that he insists on treating his subject as neither a superman nor a monster, but as a creature of his troubled age...Zamoyski gives us...a vivid sense of Napoleon as a protean chancer, outwardly self-confident as any man who ever lived, inwardly always wondering when his 'star' would finally set."—New York Review of Books
"Adam Zamoyski's 700-plus-page but very readable Napoleon: A Life...shows how France's tired post-revolutionary leaders in 1796 recognized they were riding a tiger---but didn't expect him to eat them."—World Magazine
A success in all respects, rivaling Andrew Roberts's Napoleon: A Life in astuteness and thoroughness.... The picture that emerges is of an extraordinarily gifted leader who increasingly sought short-term gain at the expense of long-term stability.... Exhaustively researched and engagingly written."—Library Journal, starred review
"Napoleon is an out and out masterpiece and a joy to read."—Sir Antony Beevor, author of Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege