Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writings 1832-1858 (Library of America), Vol. 1
Author: Abraham Lincoln
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Interesting textbook: Crystal Reports 10 for Dummies or How eBay Really Works
The Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte
Author: Robert B 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 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.
In its very extravagance, Napoleon's tale may be the most remarkable story of a self-made man ever told. When complete, Asprey's biography bids fair to become the standard work in English on the most prominent avatar of the 'great man' theory of history.
Boston Globe - Madison Smartt Bell
Asprey's biography bids fair to become the standard work in English.
Asprey, a former marine officer and military historian (Frederick the Great), has produced the first volume of a new two-volume biography of a man who was not only one of the greatest generals in history, but also instrumental in the formation of modern Europe. Covering the period from Napoleon's birth in 1769 to his brilliant victory at Austerlitz in 1805, Asprey charts his subject's rise through military school and his path through the treacherous byways of the French Revolution. Though there is a tendency in the earlier portions of this book to reduce the Revolution to a reign of terror, making it difficult to explain why Napoleon would have been such a fervent follower of the radical Jacobins, Asprey generally provides clear explanations of the political environment in which Napoleon acted. The story of the campaign in Italy that brought the young general his first fame is well told in its military, political and diplomatic aspects, and Asprey's fascinating account of the campaign in Egypt is particularly valuable. Here the author corrects misconceptions of Napoleon's actions, such as the notorious "abandonment" of the French army in Egypt. The military aspects of the story tend to overwhelm the narrative in the final chapters, and a summary chapter would have been helpful. But the chapters are bite-sized, and the text is easy, so this book should find a wide readership among those who enjoy biography, history and military history. Illus. (Dec.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Well written, detailed, and comprehensive, this is the first of a two-volume biography by noted military historian Asprey (At Belleau Wood) of the Corsican nobody who nearly conquered all of Europe. Asprey, who claims to offer a more balanced appraisal than any previously published, points out that the Napoleonic Wars that ravaged Europe in the early 1800s were a natural result of revolutionary chaos and were actually encouraged by aristocratic regimes to defend their thrones and empires from the spread of French revolutionary zeal. Napoleon, then, did not create the Napoleonic Wars but was a product of them. Asprey presents Napoleon as a child, student, youth, soldier, father, statesman, and emperor, using colorful narrative and vivid descriptions of European life, society, politics, and war. This first volume covers Napoleon's life from his birth in 1769 to the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, revealing Napoleon's political and battlefield genius. This excellent complement to David Nicholls's Napoleon: A Biographical Companion (LJ 11/1/99) and Stephen Pope's Dictionary of the Napoleonic Wars (LJ 5/15/00) is highly recommended for all public and academic libraries.--Col. William D. Bushnell, (ret.), USMC, Sebascodegan Island, ME Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.