The Battle by Alessandro Barbero
A New History of Waterloo

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



At Waterloo, some 70,000 men under Napoleon and an equal number under Wellington faced one another in a titanic and bloody struggle. In the end, as John Keegan notes, contemporaries felt that Napoleon's defeat had "reversed the tide of European history." Even 190 years later, the name Waterloo resounds. Italian historian Alessandro Barbero's majestic new account stands apart from previous British and French histories by giving voice to all the nationalities that took part. Invoking the memories of British, French, and Prussian soldiers, Barbero meticulously re-creates the conflict as it unfolded, from General Reille's early afternoon assault on the chateau of Hougoumont, to the desperate last charge of Napoleon's Imperial Guard as evening settled in. From privates to generals, Barbero recounts individual miracles and tragedies, moments of courage and foolhardiness, skillfully blending them into the larger narrative of the battle's extraordinary ebb and flow. One is left with indelible images: cavalry charges against soldiers formed in squares; the hand-to-hand combat around farmhouses; endless cannon balls and smoke. And, finally, a powerful appreciation of the inevitability and futility of war. To be published on the 190th anniversary of Waterloo, The Battle is a masterpiece of military history.

About Alessandro Barbero

See more books from this Author
Alessandro Barbero is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Piemonte Orientale, Italy. In addition to writing about medieval society and culture, he is the author of the historical novel Bella vita e guerre altrui di Mr. Pyle, gentiluomo, which won the Strega Prize in 1996. Over a period of twelve years, Allan Cameron has translated some twenty books on history, philosophy, and other academic disciplines, including works by leading Italian philosopher Norberto Bobbio and President of the European Commission Romano Prodi.
Published May 26, 2009 by Walker Books. 340 pages
Genres: History, Travel, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Battle

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

In fact, Barbero believes, had Napoleon won the battle, things wouldn’t have been so different: Wellington would have had less political success, the revolution of 1830 may not have taken place, “and in France, sooner or later, no matter what, Napoleon III would have mounted the throne.” Barbero ...

| Read Full Review of The Battle: A New History of ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

This new and valuable history of the 1815 French defeat begins with a minimum of background for the non-Napoleonic student, but does superlatively well once Wellington and Napoleon have arrayed their armies for battle (and does not forget the Prussians waiting in the wings).

May 16 2005 | Read Full Review of The Battle: A New History of ...

Arlington Public Library

Throughout the book eyewitnesses of the battle, both French and English, give accounts of what the battle was like.

Jan 05 2012 | Read Full Review of The Battle: A New History of ...

Reader Rating for The Battle

An aggregated and normalized score based on 50 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review