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Napoleon: Life, Legacy, and Image: A Biography
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Napoleon: Life, Legacy, and Image: A Biography

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  97 ratings  ·  12 reviews
From Alan Forrest, a preeminent British scholar, comes an exceedingly readable account of the man and his legendOn a cold December day in 1840 Parisians turned out in force to watch as the body of Napoleon was solemnly carried on a riverboat from Courbevoie on its final journey to the Invalides. The return of their long-dead emperor’s corpse from the island of St. Helena w ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published December 11th 2012 by St. Martin's Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Christopher Fox
This is a good, readable survey of this monumental figure but it only rates 3 stars for two personal reasons.

1. There's no doubt about the research or accuracy of this biography but I prefer a more fully rounded portrait. Here, I have excellent history without getting any real appreciation of Napoleon as a person, the inner man behind all the exploits.

2. There are historians who present their craft in an accessible way (as Forrest does here) and then there are historians who, in addition to thei
...more
Daniel Wright
Napoleon was probably never a happy man. He may have had, all too briefly, a happy childhood, growing up in Corsica, surrounded by an extended family in a culture that had only recently grown out of feudal vendettas. But he went to school in France, and there he was alienated for his strong accent and imperfect French. This may have been why he started out as a liberal revolutionary and a Corsican nationalist after the mould of Pasquale Paoli, in contrast to the cynical dictator he would become. ...more
Jud Barry
Napoleon as spin doctor. Even as a young general he developed a sympathetic network of writers and publications to whom he provided copy; as a powerful emperor he imposed press controls and censorship; his memoirs were written with a view to securing his legacy as the one who secured the accomplishments of the French Revolution.

This is a balanced book--Napoleon-haters get their say, as do those like Lazare Carnot, the Revolution's "organizer of victory," who backed out of politics when Napoleon'
...more
Marcia Brisson  Van Camp
For many years I have wanted to read a book about Napoleon because so many other books I read referenced him. Whether they were about the time of his reign or the affects of it, Napoleon certainly made his mark. I don't think this was the best book on Napoleon, but I had to start somewhere. The author tends to repeat himself a lot, and I wish there had been some maps included.

There were many interesting things in the book, and here are just a few highlights.

Napoleon was originally from Corsica,
...more
Louise
As the subtitle states, author Alan Forrest tells the story of Napoleon with emphasis on his legacy and image. He shows how from the very beginning, Napoleon was a master propagandist. He created his own image through flourish, dash and good press which he initiated and controlled and bad press which he vigorously suppressed.

Carlo Bonaparte, a somewhat connected lawyer in the turbulent politics of Corsica, saw to it that his son Napoleon, had good military education. While in school Napoleon rea
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Titanic Buff
What an intriguing read! I've read a little about Napoleon Bonaparte in the past. None of it was overly flattering (and with good reason). Alan Forrest, however, has painted a picture of Napoleon's personality and character which I found very interesting. Forrest gives readers a peek into the personality of this historical figure, including the good and the bad. While I do not admire Napoleon I still classify him as interesting. This is more an examination of the Emperor's character; and that wa ...more
John Robertson
Fairly solid account of the life of Napoleon, a little sympathetic and slightly biased in his favour, but not for Military enthusiasts as it doesn't go into any depth with regard to his battles or the army, enjoyable though and very easy to read, a good introduction to the man.
Warack60
The book starts off giving you an idea of how important Napoleon was as a symbol and how even the idea of Napoleon was something to feared. However the author could have easily done this in about 200 pages instead of the repetitive nature in which there were times a would go back to see if he had verbatim copied a sentence he used pages earier. While this was an interesting read, it dragged on in parts where it didn't need to.
Robby
I liked this biography though I've read a lot on Napoleon and this one falls short of many other books. It is nice, but very brief summary of Napoleon. Covers the Napoleonic Code and relations with the British fairly, well but if you're looking for battles or insights into his personal life you'll be disappointed. By no means definitive, but a pleasant read and nice summation nevertheless.
Jason
Fairly easy to follow and the chapters focus less along a timeline. They are more like mini timelines about different phases of his life and roles he played. The exiles are more interesting to me than the rest and the history of France afterward. The battles and political maneuvering are slightly too tedious for me. But overall a good modern account.
Robert
Good overview of the life of napoleon and of the. Politics in europa during his reign
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172401
Alan Forrest is Professor of Modern History. He works on modern French history, especially the period of the French Revolution and Empire, and on the history of modern warfare.

He serves on the editorial boards of French History and War in History, and is a member of the advisory committee for Annales historiques de la Revolution Francaise. He also co-edits a series for Palgrave-Macmillan on 'War,
...more
More about Alan Forrest...
Soldiers of the French Revolution Napoleon's Men: The Soldiers Of The Revolution And Empire The French Revolution Conscripts and Deserters: The Army and French Society During the Revolution and Empire Waterloo: Great Battles Series

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