David's Reviews > Discoveries: Napoleon: "My Ambition Was Great"

Discoveries by Thierry Lentz
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Mar 14, 12

bookshelves: history
Read from March 13 to 14, 2012

Thierry Lentz, director of the Napoleon Foundation, provides an excellent reference volume or general historical overview of the emperor's career with Napoleon: "My Ambition Was Great". The pocket book sized volume presents an impressive collection of images and documents from all parts of Napoleon's career. My Ambition Was Great draws particular notice for including specific excerpts of the primary documents used by its author, an all too infrequent rarity in popular histories.

However, Lentz's work is degraded by its lacking execution and some publishing logistics. There are too many illustrations for a book of this size and the scale that many larger paintings and images are presented at ultimately detracts from their overall historical value. Lentz, or his editor, needed to prune this work or increase the size of the book (both in terms of pages and in terms of inches)to increase its overall presentation. This would also have made Lentz's superbly tight narrative style more accessible, rather than being interrupted by images and other errata at almost every turn.
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