Quite simply, the best book in the English language (and possibly all languages) on the subject of Napoleon. There is no better work I know of in any medium. Chandler's brilliance lies in the always accessible minutiae, laid out in battle after battle after battle, which allows you to get a true insight into what made Napoleon such a military genius. Rather than someone telling you he was great, this work takes you through the detail so that you come to grasp and really understand Napoleon's amazing talents for yourself. It can't be recommended too highly and is certainly compulsory reading for anyone seriously interested in the subject. Incidentally, it makes other biographies (eg. Andrew Roberts's much-vaunted recent one) look amateur.
I would happily take on another work by Chandler with twice the detail presented here - the book is highly impressive, clear and does not get bogged down in the precise military details that afflict other histories.
Whilst this book is probably one of the largest single work on Napoleon's Campaigns that exists, I still feel that more detail could be provided. Nonetheless, the use of maps and stats makes every campaign crystal clear and illustrates the precision with which each manoeuvre is carried out.
Definitely worth reading - for someone interested in military campaigns, this book should be studied in great detail.
First published in 1966 and weighing in at over 1100 pages, this is an astonishing piece of scholarship which combines learned enquiry with lucid exposition - it's a highly intelligent but very accessible, very readable work. Chandler is a highly respected historian who has lectured at Sandhurst and established a reputation as a military historian and specialist in the Napoleonic wars. Chandler presents an epic study of Napoleon as military commander, following his emergence at Toulon to his final defeat in the Waterloo Campaign. Befitting such a giant of history, "The Campaigns of Napoleon" is a work on an epic scale. Chandler looks at the man as military leader, presenting a stimulating analysis of the processes and principles of warfare in the late 18th, early 19th centuries. The book is profusely illustrated with black and white illustrations, maps, diagrams, and plans of campaign and battle. This is the sort of work which is essential reference material for anyone interested in the military history of the era. However, it is also a very readable account, and stands judgement as a quality piece of biography in its own right. I first discovered this book in the 1960's, and it has remained one of my all time favourite studies of history: though I've never considered myself to have any great interest in the Napoleonic era, Chandler's elaboration of Napoleon's genius as military leader is thoroughly absorbing. This is a book which you can pick up to browse, casually, but which quickly transforms before your eyes into one which you must read. An essential work for students of the period, a classic work for students of military history, but also a stimulating read for anyone who enjoys an intelligent, well-written study.
As I enjoy reading about Military History my wife kindly purchased this huge book (albeit second hand) via Amazon. It is extremely well written and researched and was in excellent quality. I have really enjoyed reading it, and having owned it for some time now would recommend it to anyone with a passion for the history of the Napoleonic War period. However it is not for the faint hearted and if your interest level in the period is superficial, or not focused upon military matters, then I would not recommend the expenditure. It should be noted that the book is not a biography, but a historical commentary on the Campaigns of Napoleon and his skill as a General. It does talk about his early life and his relationships, but only in so far as these impacted upon his military career. I keep coming back to the book to find new material, and its readable style and prose makes reading it a real pleasure. Thoroughly recommended to the military history lover.
The best book I have read in my life. It is my first serious book on Napoleon's art of war. Yet , everything is detailed and clear. The author is pretty much neutral and offers a well researched material. I recommend this bok for anyone who is interested in the secrets of Napoleon's art of war. Note: The books focuses on the military aspects of Napoleon's life with necessary entries in the other areas.
ATTENTION ALL NEW TO THE NAPOLEONIC ERA - THIS IS YOUR BIBLE
A large hefty tome packed with a potted history of the entire Napoleonic wars by one of the masters of the subject. Read this and you will know where it all fits together and which campaign you are going to get realy stuck into first. I cannot recommend this highly enough as the only real epic on the subject