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Napoleon, the man behind the myth

Napoleon, the man behind the myth

Adam Zamoyski
ARRSE Rating
4.5 Mushroom Heads
Many books have been written about Napoleon, but so many books simply focus upon the myths and legends that abound, his passion for women and his leadership in battle. This excellent book sets out to explain the reality of Napoleon and to do away with the so many of these myths.

Using only original reference material and thoroughly researching the subject the author has produced an informative and accurate history of the great man. Starting out with the relative poverty in Corsica the author traces his birth and childhood, and all of the family arguments, jockeying for power and prestige against a background of war and political intrigue.

Being sent away early to a military academy, many original letters quoted tell us what the young Napoleon was like, his early forays into the military and his constant striving for power and prestige. The careful measures taken to avoid being dragged into the morass of the French revolution show us a great deal about his character. His early military victories were a trial of common-sense and good training against a background of senior officers jockeying for power.

I had not realised how much political manipulation went on around him, and how he tried to either steer a middle ground or to follow in the path of those he trusted. His many insecurities that stemmed no doubt from a poor childhood and his sexual encounters and sometimes coldness towards women are all well illustrated.

At 640 pages it is a very intensive and and informative book, covering his many battles and victories along with his eventual downfall but it clearly sets out exactly who the man behind the myth was and gives a fine insight into his character and weaknesses.

An excellent book for anyone wishing to study this volatile period in history, revealing much about this period and the nations involved.

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