Napoleon: The True Story of Napoleon Bonaparte (Historical Biographies of Famous People)
Great military minds hold a special place in history. From Marius of Rome to General Patton, historians have always examined the men who led others into battle, and few of these are remembered as clearly as Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon’s military successes were nearly always against numerically... show more
Great military minds hold a special place in history. From Marius of Rome to General Patton, historians have always examined the men who led others into battle, and few of these are remembered as clearly as Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon’s military successes were nearly always against numerically superior forces, but his brilliant tactics, from picking favorable terrain to luring his enemies into clever traps usually led him to victory. Never before in history had armies of such size clashed on an open battlefield, and these conflicts are still studied in military academies today.
But it is not just his tactics that led to his success. Napoleon managed to secure the love and respect of his people, through brilliant social reforms, community projects, and the clever use of propaganda. Much like Julius Caesar, Bonaparte understood that a well-spoken message was every bit as important as victory on the battlefield.
Yet that is not why Napoleon’s life is significant or interesting. The truth is that he was born into a little-known family, with hardly anything but a relatively common title to his name. In a time when parentage and ancestry typically determined the trajectory of someone’s life, Napoleon rose from obscurity to Emperor before he was thirty years old, a feat unmatched by any except Alexander the Great—and even Alexander had the legacy of a father upon which to build.
Napoleon’s life and career was tumultuous, yet filled with far more victories than losses. At the height of his power and popularity, it took the combined strength of all of Europe to stop him—and even that had to be done twice before he was exiled for good.
But Napoleon is still not forgotten, even two centuries after his death. His legacy remains, from the current European legal system that he instituted to the everyday fact that traffic sticks to the right side of the road. A story of obscurity to Emperor, Napoleon’s life remains one of the most fascinating narratives in modern history.
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