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Napoleon Paperback – 1 Jun 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (1 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000732958X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007329588
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 2.5 x 12.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Paperback. Pub Date :2009-01-01 Pages: 480 Language: English Publisher: Harpercollins A biography of Napoleon. which attempts to explain the history of this great man in personal terms.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By M. Wood on 11 Feb 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book.

Vincent Cronin obviously knows his subject thoroughly and has a keen interest in and appreciation of Napoleon.

As another reviewer said it is a sympathetic biography which looks for the good in Napoleon's actions, but it does not gloss over the less favourable aspects of his character.

The opening chapter is called 'A Happy Childhood' and Cronin manages not only to convey that to the reader, but he also gives a sense of what life was like in Corsica when Napoleon grew up there, down to details such as the food produced and eaten and the routines of everyday life; without these ever being dull.

Cronin has written for the intelligent layman and no prior knowledge of Napoleon or The Napoleonic Wars is needed to enjoy this book; it left me with a better understanding not just of Napoleon but of late 18th and early 19th century Europe.

I've read a lot of biographies on people from different walks of life; but I have never enjoyed a biography as much as this one. I rarely re-read books but I have read this twice and I imagine I will return to it again some day.

If you do read it I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Neil Holliday on 15 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback
I'd just ploughed through Franseschi and Weider's wretched 'Wars against Napoleon' and so my apetite for another biography of the same subjest was less than high, but what a difference. While both books reached the same conclusion of Napoleon as a decent and much loved leader conspired against by the other European powers, this one is gripping, fascinating and above all explains not just the reasons behind Napoleons decisions, but also those who fought him. It even reads lightly during his childhood and adolescence, a period which did'nt really interest me but which most biographers feel compelled to cover. Always readable and informative, if you only ever buy one book about Napoleon, try and make it this one, and I defy anyone to read the final chapter and not feel sympathy for him, and some anger for those who left him to die on St. Helena.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matthew DiMuzio on 6 Aug 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone who had never been altogether familiar with the life and times of Napoleon, I found this history to be highly interesting. My American historical education tended to treat European history between 1782-1812 as an ambiguous mish-mash of tensions between the British factions ("war" party vs. "peace" party) and the Continental revolutionary tendencies. Vincent Cronin's Napoleon helped to put a human face to the conflict raging in Europe during this period and helped to make the "Napoleonic Wars" less abstract in how they actually affected the average European. With that said, Napoleon's life really did play out much like a novel, and I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves reading biography.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A.Kuipers on 28 Jan 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very well written, amusing and interesting. This is a fascinating man obviously, and this bio was a pleasure to read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By john on 6 July 2012
Format: Paperback
picked this one up at a second hand store. with promises of examining Napoleon the man i was interested as most biographies run into the trouble of ending up doing an account of the napoleonic wars rather then actually saying enough on what Napoleon himself was like. from the very first page i was hooked and just couldn't stop reading. the author writes with great ease and passion that each page just flows by. hardly ever is Napoleon left as it recounts every little detail about his life and what his thoughts and feelings were on many matters giving you an epic account of a great man. Napoleon early love affairs and his actions through the french revolution are followed in wonderful detail as you feel you yourself are following the man through his life. the books is different from others in that it doesn't give much time to his military campaigns other then where the average anecdote is needed or where important events in shaping him but concentrates a huge amount on his internal reforms on becoming first consul and later emperor. this was truly fascinating reading as you lean that his energy and enthusiasm was no less in the public sector and his work and the great advances he made in rising up france almost defy belief. you often see a more human side to Napoleon as well in this book such as one incident of when the Swiss guard were butchered by a mob during the revolution Napoleon stepped out and stopped a man from killing one wounded guardsman. at another time during the battle for Borodino Napoleon the day after the battle rode out across the field to oversee the collection of the wounded, hs horse trod on a man who gave a whimper to show he was still alive.Read more ›
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Miquel on 21 Jan 2010
Format: Paperback
A must-read for anyone interested in the Napoleon era. Time goes by as you can not put this book aside. It is true that the author does not hide its sympathy for his hero and in, this sense, it is not totally objective, specially when justifying the transition from a Republic to a "personal" Empire. However, after having read several critical biographies of Napoleon this was somehow a welcome change.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was a very personal account of napoleons life in a very favourable light but told in a very readable and interesting way that keeps you hooked. It's more about the man and his personal life than his battles and military tactics, and it's a little one sided so it should be read with something else to have a fuller and broader understanding. Great book by Vincent, highly recommended
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