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Napoleon

A Life
Written by: Adam Zamoyski
Narrated by: Leighton Pugh
Length: 27 hrs and 10 mins
5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 50.07
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Publisher's Summary

The definitive biography of Napoleon, revealing the true man behind the legend.

"What a novel my life has been!" Napoleon once said of himself. Born into a poor family, the callow young man was, by 26, 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 35. 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.

©2018 Adam Zamoyski (P)2018 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

"Napoleon is an out and out masterpiece and a joy to read." (Sir Antony Beevor, author of Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege)

"A biography of Napoleon Bonaparte that avoids the well-established military details and gives us the story of a singular man...Illuminating." (Kirkus)

"Zamoyski tells the personal side of Napoleon's life...his hopes, his dreams, his self-doubts." (New York Journal of Books)

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  • Jean
  • 2019-04-01

Fascinating

There are two books by the same name,” Napoleon: A Life”. This one is by Zamoyski and was published in 2019. The other is by Andrew Roberts and published in 2015. I read it in 2015 and found it to be an outstanding biography of Napoleon. The reason I decided to read Zamoyski’s book was his attempt to debunk the fantasy, myth and exaggeration of Napoleon’s life. Zamoyski attempts to reveal more about Napoleon’s personal life than did Roberts.

The book is well written and researched. Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) has had so much written about him. I have been fascinated by Napoleon since I was a child. Therefore, I have read much written about him. A book must have a hook or different approach to entice me to read it. Zamoyski primarily portrays Napoleon as a self-made opportunist. The author attempts to reveal Napoleon’s skills and talents as well as his flaws. Zamoyski states Napoleon was a tactician not a strategist. That is the opposite opinion from most historians. Napoleon was gifted in many areas from mathematics to logistics. He also imposed his theory of how governments should operate on Europe. He also rewrote the legal system and it is still in use today. Zamoyski continued the falsehood about Napoleon’s height. He was 5’7” which was the average height of a French man in that era. This book is easy to read and well worth the effort.

The book is twenty-seven hours and ten minutes. Leighton Pugh does a good job narrating the book. Pugh is an actor and audiobook narrator.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful