Napoleon's Wars: An International History, 1803-1815

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Allen Lane, 2007 - 621 pages

No other soldier has provoked as much argument as Napoleon Bonaparte. Was Napoleon a monster, driven on by an endless, ruinous quest for military glory - or was he a social and political visionary brought down by the petty, reactionary kings and emperors, clinging to their privileges?

Napoleon's Wars is a book which has no doubt about Napoleon's insatiable greed for military glory, but it is interested in far more than that. Charles Esdaile is profoundly interested in a pan-European context- what was it that made the countries of Europe fight each other, for so long and with such devastating results. The battles themselves he sees as almost side-effects; the consequence of rulers being willing to take the immense risks of fighting or supporting Napoleon - risks which resulted in the extinction of entire countries.

This is history on the grandest and most ambitious scale- a superb reassessment of a tumultuous era.

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User Review  - Hae-Yu - LibraryThing

General histories of the age focus about 80% on Napoleon, throw in some Nelson and Wellington, and round out with the other players - Russia, Austria, Prussia, etc. This telling focuses from the ... Read full review


The Origins of the Napoleonic Wars
From Brumaire to Amiens
The Peace of Amiens

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About the author (2007)

Charles Esdaile is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Liverpool. He is the author of The Wars of Napoleon, The French Wars, 1792-1815, The Spanish Army in the Peninsular War, The Duke of Wellington and the Command of the Spanish Army, 1812-14and Spain in the Liberal Age, 1808-1939. Married with four young children, he lives near Formby

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