Napoleon: The Path to Power

Napoleon The Path to Power At just thirty years of age Napoleon Bonaparte ruled the most powerful country in Europe But the journey that led him there was neither inevitable nor smooth This authoritative biography focuses on t

  • Title: Napoleon: The Path to Power
  • Author: Philip G. Dwyer
  • ISBN: 9780300137545
  • Page: 440
  • Format: Hardcover
  • At just thirty years of age, Napoleon Bonaparte ruled the most powerful country in Europe But the journey that led him there was neither inevitable nor smooth This authoritative biography focuses on the evolution of Napoleon as a leader and debunks many of the myths that are often repeated about him sensational myths often propagated by Napoleon himself Here, Philip DwAt just thirty years of age, Napoleon Bonaparte ruled the most powerful country in Europe But the journey that led him there was neither inevitable nor smooth This authoritative biography focuses on the evolution of Napoleon as a leader and debunks many of the myths that are often repeated about him sensational myths often propagated by Napoleon himself Here, Philip Dwyer sheds new light on Napoleon s inner life especially his darker side and his passions to reveal a ruthless, manipulative, driven man whose character has been disguised by the public image he carefully fashioned to suit the purposes of his ambition Dwyer focuses acutely on Napoleon s formative years, from his Corsican origins to his French education, from his melancholy youth to his flirtation with radicals of the French Revolution, from his first military campaigns in Italy and Egypt to the political military coup that brought him to power in 1799 One of the first truly modern politicians, Napoleon was a master of spin, using the media to project an idealized image of himself Dwyer s biography of the young Napoleon provides a fascinating new perspective on one of the great figures of modern history.

    One thought on “Napoleon: The Path to Power”

    1. Although a history major in college I have studied very little of Napoleon or the time and places of his greatest influence. Thus I come to Dwyer's book with a love for history but without a critical background of prior Napoleon research. Therefore I must asses this book by the tools of history and by my own opinions as a reader of history books, rather than by assessing Dwyer's overall worth for Napoleon studies. What I look for in a history book are the kinds of sources, the use of sources, th [...]

    2. There is no such thing as the last book on a subject. If there was, we wouldn't have a million books on Abraham Lincoln. When you have a historical figure, such as Lincoln or Napoleon, it seems that every generation wants to take a crack at figuring out that man's essence. But there comes a point when you really can't say anything new. That's just reality, since man's life is finite. When that point is reached, the only thing an author can do, really, is take the collected wisdom of hundreds of [...]

    3. Before reading this book, I had no idea how little I knew about Napoleon Bonaparte. As such, I found Philip Dwyer's study of Napoleon's rise to power wholly fascinating. The man that emerges from these biographical pages is just that, a man. Dwyer does a wonderful job of separating the man from the myth, and I was surprised at just how human the Little General was in his youth and young adulthood. A competent military strategist, Napoleon's true genius is revealed by his unprecedented use of the [...]

    4. Most historians have to chose between writing a readable narrative or one that will be heavily documented. Dwyer doean't have this problem His writing is able straddle both styles. He has created a readable, heavily documented history of Napoleon's rise to power. I don't know the literature of this period, but the book has the feel that it is definitive to date.While the text is not on the page turning level of "Alexander Hamilton, The Most Famous Man in America:, "The Biography of Henry Ward Be [...]

    5. One of the best, recent biographies of Napoleon. Dwyer has crafted a thoroughly researched yet fascinating account of Napoleon's life up to his seizure of power in 1799. Dwyer convincingly makes the case that Napoleon shrewdly and consciously invented and reinvented an image for himself that has survived to this day. Dwyer attempts, as much as possible, to peel away the layers of that persistent myth and reveal the man beneath.

    6. A mostly well-written book about Napoleon's rise to power. It goes into a little too much detail, however; plodding through 500 pages covering the first 30 years of his life was a bit much.

    7. A great read of the backroom dealings of Napoleon's rise to power. The title is correct it explains 'Napoleon's path to power' alright, but I would've like to have read more on the military tactics and skills of the great general, it is lacking in that respect. I'll have to find that in another book.I look forward to reading the follow up book by this author.

    8. Bit too casual with the topic I thought - perhaps trying for mass appeal rather than solid history. No friend of Napoleon and has that right

    9. In spite of his anecdotally small stature, the character of Napoleon Bonaparte is usually depicted as larger than life, an image cultivated deliberately by Napoleon himself. Mr. Dwyer presents a detailed and thorough history of Napoleon's rise to power, beginning with his upbringing on the island of Corsica and how local politics and his father's attempts to integrate himself with those in power shaped his ambitions. He used connections skillfully to obtain French military appointments, eventual [...]

    10. I have had a long interest in the French Revolution as part of my study and appreciation of our own revolutionary period. Having read Schama's " Citizens" had a somewhat limited perspective on the period and was especially interested in the transition from revolutionary period to consulate to Empire and the whole Napoleonic myth making. This volume, of a 2 volume set, starts the story early on the island of Corsica and gives a quite detailed explanation of Napoleons early life,influences and goa [...]

    11. Reading was stressful. All my curiosity reading disappeared from the very first chapter. Too much concentrated on the background of napoleons, which was too boring. And there were very lack information regarding to napoleon himself. In this book there is no something that will intrigue you to read, like other interesting books does. It seemed to me like i was reading long, and boring dissertation. From the middle i lost the main idea, main pattern and gave up reading this book. Maybe Historians, [...]

    12. This is probably the first biography I've read where the author was so brutally honest about the character that he seemed to actually dislike the man. But he was scrupulously fair about bringing out both sides of what was happening - reporting Napoleon's accounts and at the same time accounts by other people involved that gave the opposite side of the story. Napoleon really did have a "particularly modern approach to politics" in the best Rovebusian style, never shying away from completely fabri [...]

    13. It's clear from the beginning that Dwyer dislikes Napoleon, which is perfectly fine; but one can be critical towards the man's many flaws without cherrypicking the sources in order to make him unlikeable also to the reader (authors overwhelmingly favorable to Napoleon also indulge in cherrypicking, obviously). Anyway and surprisingly my main problem with this book is the style, that I find too dry.

    14. An enjoyable account of Bonaparte's rise from an obscurity to one of the central figures of French history. This book handled very well Bonaparte's careful management of his public image to create a certain impression of himself as a true republican and it also discussed his performance as a general which contrary to popular belief was not as irresistible as generally accepted history tells us.

    15. An excellent read. It's a bit daunting, very well-researched and extremely detailed, and it's a large book - but if you would really like to understand both the rise of Napoleon (if you thought "spin" started with contemporary politics, you're very much mistaken) and the political intrigues of the French revolution, this is the book for you.

    16. Bailed out on this. I wanted something less flattering than the previous Napoleon book I had read, but this was deliberately written to criticize without grounds. The pattern would be, "Historical records say this happened, but Napoleon's people surely manipulated those, so we don't know what happened but we can be certain it was not what the history books say." It was tiring after 100 pages.

    17. Napoleon's a complex historical figure and the vitriol that Dwyer seeps into his writing engages the reader to question the dimensions of what we accept as valid sources, history, and perspective on events linked to Bonaparte.Not a book for blind Napoleon lovers.

    18. Stripped away some of the aura of Napoleon even though he was a military genius (30 years old and head of the most powerful country on earth) , knew how to use the media ( pamphlets , newspapers and engravings )

    19. The first 30 years of an amazing life. this book filled in a vast gap in my understanding of the history of France, the revolution, and Europe in the years leading up to 1800. If you want to know how Sara Palin can take over, just read this.

    20. This book took longer to read than expected. Filled with lots of details of Napoleon's early life and his rise to power. Found I needed to read about 10-15 pages and then but the book down. Needed a better backgroud of French history especially the pre revolution and revolutionary years.

    21. This dragged for me. It's hard to know if it was just the level of detail or if it didn't cohere as a narrative. It was certainly thorough.

    22. There is so much left to chance in life, but it always pays to be prepared for an unthinkableWell written and well presented. Joy to read.

    23. A very good biography of that great man, Napoleon. Can't wait for Dwyer's second instalment in his biography of Napoleon

    24. The writing was smooth enough to easily follow along, but a bit dry and lackluster considering the scope and topic being covered. It's Napoleon for crying out loud!

    25. This has been a great introduction to napoleon. Its an entertaining well researched book which gives a really good sense of the how Napoleon rose to power.

    26. Interesting study looking behind the legend as to what influences drove a younger son of an obscure minor Corsican family to aspire to a political career in his adoptive county of France.

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