Review: Napoleon

Paul Johnson (2002)

Of course any book about a life as rich as Napoleon’s that is less than 200 pages long is going to be nothing more than a breeze through history, but it fit the bill for what I wanted—just a brief accounting of the time-line and highlights of the military genius and self-appointed emperor of France.

I learned a number of things I never knew about Napoleon (Josephine wasn’t his only wife!) and can now place him in the context of my chronological reading of U.S. presidential biographies. Also of interest, the author addresses the reinvention of Napoleon’s myth and legacy, from a brutal military dictator responsible for thousands of deaths across Europe into France’s favorite son.

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