Napoleon by Paul Johnson
(Penguin Lives)

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From New York Times bestselling author Paul Johnson, “a very readable and entertaining biography” (The Washington Post) about one of the most important figures in modern European history: Napoleon Bonaparte

In an ideal pairing of author and subject, the magisterial historian Paul Johnson offers a vivid look at the life of the strategist, general, and dictator who conquered much of Europe. Following Napoleon from the barren island of Corsica to his early training in Paris, from his meteoric victories and military dictatorship to his exile and death, Johnson examines the origins of his ferocious ambition. In Napoleon's quest for power, Johnson sees a realist unfettered by patriotism or ideology. And he recognizes Bonaparte’s violent legacy in the totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century. Napoleon is a magnificent work that bears witness to one individual's ability to work his will on history.


About Paul Johnson

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Paul Johnson is an acclaimed historian and author. In addition to his many biographies, his books also include A History of the American People and Modern Times. He has contributed to Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and many others. He lives in London.
Published May 2, 2006 by Penguin Books. 220 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, War, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Stressing that the Corsican general was motivated by opportunism alone, Johnson traces his rise to power and expansionist bids, arguing that the most important legacies of his rule were the eclipse of France as the leading European power and the introduction of such enduring institutions as t...

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Open Letters Monthly

Revolutionary Iran is what happens when conspiracy theory becomes official government policy, and as we shall see, it is arguable that the Mr Ahmadinejad has not simply replaced Uncle Napoleon – he is Uncle Napoleon.

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London Review of Books

And we could well build up a new interpretation of Napoleon by asking linguists to comment upon a man who governed by talking and dictating, and who thus endeavoured to escape from the tyranny of the written word and revelled in the freedom and magic of the spoken word.

Feb 10 2013 | Read Full Review of Napoleon (Penguin Lives)

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