This book by Kevin Kiley (retired USMC artillery officer) offers the reader a very good account of some of Napoleon's generals, many unknown to most readers which is very refreshing. Many of the more famous Marshals are covered but also we hear from numerous officers we have read about in other books but never anything in depth.
Each chapter, 16 in total including the appendix (The Imperial Guard,) covers one battle during the Napoleonic Wars to highlight one or a number of Napoleons Marshals, generals and line officers. The book offers a very decent overview of the organisation and tactics of the Grande Armee and then covers a number of battles from Marengo in 1800 to Plancenoit in 1815.
Overall this is a very good book which sadly has been let down by a number of typographic errors (not picked up by an editor - the use of spell checkers doesn't cut it) and the authors annoying habit of repeating himself, sometimes on the same page!
Having said that I learnt a few things and enjoyed the author's accounts of the battles mentioned in the book. There were a number of decent maps and some very good B&W illustrations but I would have preferred some of the paintings in colour as they are great images that need to be seen in their original colourful glory.
I bought this book because I wanted a different perspective from the usual books on the Napoleonic wars. I was disappointed, it is just a plain description of the Napoleonic wars, with some brief biographical notes about the generals, but without any account of lesser known battles. The title is "Napoleon's Generals and Their Battles" but the title should be "Napoleon's Battles and their Generals".
Don't expect the usual dictionary style text. This title places Napoleon's Generals within their historical setting. The author successfully brings alive the dramatic events that created or destroyed a General's reputation. We meet, ride and fight with the well known and the lesser known celebrities from the whole Napoleonic period. The author does not just concentrate on the victories enjoyed by Napoleon's warriors, but also the defeats, which helps make the text become a more balanced and less biased narrative. The title is a welcome gem among the dull pebbles already available to the customer. No enthusiast or wargamer should be without it.
I'm bought this title (not from Amazon, but from a bookstore in London) with several other Napoleonic titles recently. I'd never heard of Kevin Kiley until reading his reviews of another book I had purchased. Needless to say, I disagreed with his opinion and felt I should read some of his own writing.
Putting aside any factors from the above, I was disappointed with this title. It is poorly produced in terms of writing (the editorial work is appalling) and the same statements are made far too frequently. I get the feeling the author is attempting to brow beat the reader into agreeing with his line of thought. It is also evident that Kiley worships Napoleon as a demi-god, and this alone marks his work as bias. I would return this for a refund, if the opportunity arose. I'm sure there's vastly superior and more learned studies to be had elsewhere.