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The Age of Napoleon (Modern Library Chronicles #16)

3.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  163 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
The age of Napoleon transformed Europe, laying the foundations for the modern world. Now Alistair Horne, one of the great chroniclers of French history gives us a fresh account of that remarkable time.

Born into poverty on the remote island of Corsica, he rose to prominence in the turbulent years following the French Revolution, when most of Europe was arrayed against Fran
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 9th 2006 by Modern Library (first published January 1st 2004)
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Jul 23, 2012 Stephen rated it liked it
Shelves: wars, france
Napoleon Bonaparte cast a long shadow over history, considering the relative slightness of his origins. Who would expect a boy from a conquered island to rise to the height of power and command one of the greatest empires in history, and leave a legacy even grander? Alistair Horne's contribution to the Modern Library Chronicles series discusses that legacy in part, although it is a mere sample of what one might say about the Emperor. Horne himself has written larger, more exhaustive works on the ...more
Luke Cummins
Mar 19, 2015 Luke Cummins rated it liked it
If you're looking for a concise introduction to the Napoleonic Era, don't look here. Though informative the book has a loose narrative flow and introduces charecters and references events which need some pre-understanding of the Revolution and Napoleons conquests. The book hardly touches on the military events which surrounded Napoleons reign, but instead talks about his personal life and the implications of his reign socially in both France and the whole of Europe.

The value of 'Age Of Napoleon'
Chase Parsley
Jan 31, 2016 Chase Parsley rated it liked it
On one hand, this book is certainly readable. It is a fascinating time period, and I motored through it in a week, enjoying much of it. On the other hand though, I feel that something was lacking. For starters, I wish the author would explain several of the big events more: the Peninsular War, the origins of the French Revolution and the Assemby's early days, the Russian campaign, and Waterloo were barely described, as if the reader should already fully understand these things. Second, Horne wen ...more
Aug 21, 2012 Doug rated it it was ok
Shelves: history, audio
maybe if I read instead of heard the book it might have been better. Since I speak no French the untranslated headlines, proverbs, phrases, etc. were very annoying. were they important? I have no idea.
Jun 22, 2016 Stephen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Napoleon is a character who fascinates the British. If asked to point to our major accomplishments in Europe, many British people would mention Waterloo and the defeat of Napoleon. This is more readily accessible than Hitler because there was a single decisive battle rather than the more nebulous occupation of Germany. Alistair Horne is an accomplished historian whose works are known to me. I have enjoyed some of his previous works. It was with a great sense of expectation that I came to this bo ...more
J.M. Hushour
Dec 22, 2014 J.M. Hushour rated it really liked it
Horne is a fine writer--"A Savage War of Peace" still stands as one of the more remarkable works of history in the past century--and I was surprised to discover he'd penned this slim little Modern Library curiosity, a brief history of Napoleon's era. There is nothing earth-shattering or iconoclastic here. Horne draws off of much worthy historiography on the subject. It's still entertaining, but probably not for a layperson. There's a lot of assumed knowledge and name-dropping. Much of the work f ...more
Carlos Contente
Oct 21, 2015 Carlos Contente rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a solid study for those interested in learning about the Napoleonic Age, but necessarily about Napoleon's military exploits. This study predominantly focuses on the social and cultural aspects of Napoleon's rule, with a smattering of military history here and there.

This is the second book I have read by Horne and he has excellent writing which makes historical subjects approachable. As someone pursuing a graduate degree in history, I would highly recommend this to anyone, in academia or
Jul 18, 2011 Matt rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, history
I enjoyed this book but it has its flaws. While I gather that Horne is a respected historian, and he conveys a breadth of knowledge in keeping with that, it doesn't read like it was written by a historian, but rather by a huge fan. It's a largely uncritical paean to Napoleon, there's a lot of great detail but it feels like only half a picture.

It's not really about Napoleon, but about what he did as a civil leader in France and the affect he had on Europe. These details are interesting and helpf
Holden Attradies
Feb 01, 2012 Holden Attradies rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, history
It was incredibly hard to get through this book. It definitely wasn't written for a reader like me, who was someone going into the subject with little to no actual knowledge on it.

I had picked it up from my local used book store in the hopes of finding a good introduction to Napoleon and the era he was around, and from the book jacket this seemed like what I was looking for. But I was way wrong. The book frequently threw out french terms and quotes without translations, assuming the reading kne
Dec 24, 2014 Mejix rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More of a 2.5 actually. The book seems like a cut and paste job of some other larger book. It has several unnecessary repetitions, and feels sloppy. It badly needed an editor. On the other hand it's Napoleon, it's cultural history, it's the French, there was bound to be something interesting.
Feb 18, 2009 Estherparker rated it liked it
I found this book enjoyable for what it was -- a brief and very readable take on domestic affairs during the era of Napoleon. This book is much more more enjoyable (at least for me) than Napoleon books that focus on his military adventures (there's only so much that I can stand to read about Austerlitz and pincer moves). My major criticism of the book is that it lacks any coherent structure. There are loose thematic chapters, but Horne repeats himself often and seems like he's just chatting away ...more
Don Weidinger
Dec 23, 2012 Don Weidinger rated it really liked it
Beethoven supposedly identified Napoleon as a to be tyrant after Napoleonâs self-coronation in 1804. Un-trusting of generals over 40, yet ww2 won by those over 50. A good administrator perhaps. Demeaning and discouraging of rights of women. Surrounded by sycophantsâ”the sure sign of corruption of power. A looter of great artwork. The age of extreme atheism, a cultural desert, excesses of Napoleon and Josephine in affairs and attire, 250K losses in Spain, 40K German support Wellington, a breakdow ...more
Oct 03, 2013 Mate77 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
Despite the intention of the author, this is still a by and large military history/biography, and a short one at that. The few chapters that deal with the culture and the everyday life in France are short and sparse, although illuminating. I expected the book would cover Napoleon's influence outside of France, alas that did not happen. Very little space was given to Napoleon's reforms, both home and abroad, and to the Code Napoleon, arguably his biggest legacy. All this aside, it's not a badly w ...more
Sound recording.
Sep 18, 2013 Thomas rated it liked it
Shelves: history
A short whirlwind tour of the years of Napoleon's influence, roughly 1795-1815. It is not a biography of Napoleon, or a military history. Its focus is the cultural influence of Napoleon and his times, though Horne does briefly outline major biographical and military events. Horne has written more extensively on Napoleon, and this short book reads like an abridgement by a scholar who cherry-picks facts for their amusement value. The result is an entertaining but shallow treatment.
Feb 08, 2015 Amanda rated it did not like it
This author is terrible! He skips around in time constantly and seems to expect that his readers are fluent in French and have a map of 19th century Paris sitting in front of them.
Oct 24, 2009 Martha rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, world, 2009, reviews
This is just what I wanted, a short book that tells where Napoleon came from, how he took power, and what the consequences were. It doesn't cover the military history which, as the author points out, is covered in the more than 600,000 books on Napoleon. Rather it talks about the effects on life in Paris and France of Napoleon's reign and fall. Esp interesting, the comparisons with the France of 1940s. Lively and well written with a good bibliography.
Jan 23, 2009 Duzzlebrarian rated it really liked it
This is a light book, brushing over the part of the Napoleon story that doesn't usually get much attention - what was going on at home. From ladies' fashions to newspapers, from schools to building projects, Horne draws a very complete picture of Napoleon's France, without ever becoming heavy-going. I'd recommend this for people who want to know more about the period without being bogged down in regiments and marching orders.
Nov 18, 2009 Matt rated it it was ok
This was a very text book like novel. It was not fun to listen to and was very sporatic with its information, meaning it jumped from topis to topic regularly. I will get another book on Napolean in the future and if you're interested in learning about this fascinating dictator then I suggest doing the same. There are too many books on this person and this time in history, don't waste your time with this one.
Apr 26, 2010 Picoroco rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Pithy and interesting taster of the Napoleonic epoch. For all its brevity the book is at times surprisingly repetitive but I enjoyed the revealing anecdotes and quotations with which Horne sprinkles his text. He clearly understands and has a great love for his subject matter.
Aug 12, 2009 Eric rated it it was ok
This was more about the culture of France during the time of Napoleon, I wanted more history. I also didn't care for the writing style.
Feb 19, 2011 Dan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: history buffs
Recommended to Dan by: no one
Not very compellingly written, but contained a great deal of information well organized. Good book for a history buff.
Lalo Louvier
Dec 23, 2009 Lalo Louvier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regalo
muy buena experiencia actualizada!
Krisley Freitas
Krisley Freitas rated it it was amazing
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Alistair Horne is a preeminent historian, journalist and Oxford fellow who has written seventeen books, many of them on the military history of France.He has won the following awards: Hawthornden Prize, 1963, for The Price of Glory; Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Prize and Wolfson Literary Award, both 1978, both for A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962; French Légion d'Honneur, 1993, for work ...more
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