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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
Simply put, the best biography of Napoleon in English.

Englund writes with great erudition, wit, and verve, with an eye for the revealing vignette as well as the epic, grand sweep of things. He is entirely up to date with the latest scholarship and does not succumb to the temptation of applying modern day standards of morality to an era that is not ours...
Published on 23 May 2006 by E. Huntington

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Abysmal Style
The style of this book is overblown, pretentious and distracting. A complete turn off. I want to know about Napoleon not marvel at the wonders of the author's linguistic creativity or be amazed by his oh-so-clever allusions.
Published 9 months ago by richard webber


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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 23 May 2006
By 
E. Huntington "azelsestren" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Simply put, the best biography of Napoleon in English.

Englund writes with great erudition, wit, and verve, with an eye for the revealing vignette as well as the epic, grand sweep of things. He is entirely up to date with the latest scholarship and does not succumb to the temptation of applying modern day standards of morality to an era that is not ours.

That said, this is a political biography - anyone looking for salacious details of Napoleon and Joesphines relationship, or a blow-by-blow account of famous battles will have to look elsewhere - and it presupposes that the reader will have a basic knowledge of the period.

That said, this magnificent books comes with my highest recommendation.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars splendid one volume biography, 31 Dec 2011
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markr - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Napoleon: A Political Life (Paperback)
This is an excellent account of the life of Napoleon, which provides a balanced view of his actions and motivations, both within France and within the Empire he largely created. Whilst this is essentially a political biography, there is enough here on his military campaigns, personal life and writings to give a rounded picture of the man and his times.

It probably helps to have some prior knowledge of the period. Stephen Englund does rather seem to take that for granted, but notwithstanding that, this will be an enjoyable read for the general reader, like me, with an interest in history, as well as those with more detailed prior knowledge

Recommended
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fascinating Napoleonic history, 25 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Napoleon: A Political Life (Paperback)
Discusses Napoloeon's motivations, influences and strengths. Clearly and well written. Interesting and not a boring historical tome. Non-historians could easily read it and the story is fascinating. Added to my understanding (which was quite extensive already.)
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1.0 out of 5 stars Abysmal Style, 17 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Napoleon: A Political Life (Paperback)
The style of this book is overblown, pretentious and distracting. A complete turn off. I want to know about Napoleon not marvel at the wonders of the author's linguistic creativity or be amazed by his oh-so-clever allusions.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction into the life and times of Napoleon, 5 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Napoleon: A Political Life (Paperback)
Although this is a good introduction into the life of Napoleon and into the times of post-revolution France, the author does not always use simple language and often uses verbose / pompous vocabulary. This makes certain passage difficult to read. However, the book takes the reader chronologically through the life of Napoleon and cross-references his arguments with details from other historians. Do not buy this book if you want a family portrait, but as the title says, "A Political Life", it is worth the read.
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Napoleon: A Political Life
Napoleon: A Political Life by Steven Englund (Paperback - 6 May 2005)
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