A panoramic chronicle of Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise to power—excerpted from celebrated historian Charles Esdaile’s masterwork Napoleon’s Wars
Napoleon’s Wars offers a definitive account of the violent conflicts that seethed within Europe from the end of the Peace of Amiens in 1803 to the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, recognizing not only the role of Napoleon himself, but also of the larger forces at play during this tumultuous era. In this excerpt, acclaimed historian Charles Esdaile chronicles the shifting European alliances and simmering enmities in the closing years of the 18th century and follows the rise of young Napoleon from misfit schoolboy to the conquering hero of France. Stripping away myth and fabrication to lay bare the future ruler of the French Empire’s vainglorious nature and obsessive lust for power, Esdaile reveals the young Corsican as a master manipulator, who time and again bends political tensions, cultural conflict, and military strategy toward his own aims.
A selection from the work the Economist has called “explanatory history of high order,” Napoleon: Ascent to Power offers a wide-ranging explanation of the circumstances that led the countries of Europe to fight each other so ferociously for so long, and a portrait of the man who pushed the conflict to new heights of devastation.