History of War

REDEFINING BONAPARTE

“THIS NEW INTERPRETATION REVEALS A MAN WHOSE WILL TO SUCCEED LED TO GREAT POWER, BUT WHOSE COMPLEX INSECURITIES BROUGHT ABOUT HIS OWN DOWNFALL”

Napoleon Bonaparte famously rose from being an obscure Corsican artillery officer to a renowned general, which eventually led to him to become Emperor of the French. Despite being defeated and exiled in 1815, he is still considered one of the greatest commanders in history, whose military and political legacy endures.

Nevertheless, Napoleon also polarises opinion among historians who heavily debate his achievements, including the Polish-British historian Adam Zamoyski. The author of over a dozen books, including the bestselling 1812: Napoleon’s Fatal March On Moscow, Zamoyski has now written a new biography Napoleon: The Man Behind The Myth, which is published by HarperCollins.

Zamoyski has stripped away the self-serving propaganda created by Napoleon himself to examine a fascinating human being. This new interpretation reveals a man whose will to succeed led to great power, but whose complex insecurities brought about his own downfall.

What was the idea behind Napoleon: The Man Behind The Myth?

It was really to try to find out what all the fuss was about because people go on about this ‘genius’ and God-like figure. The French often see him as a superhuman creature while the British seem to regard him either as a nasty little tick or a military genius. I don’t really buy that he was a genius of any kind and think that term is usually applied to luck and a bit of hard work.

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