A bestselling historian's vigorous and searching biography of the towering figure who cast his shadow over two centuries
In an ideal pairing of author and subject, the magisterial historian Paul Johnson offers a vivid look at the life of the strategist, general, and dictator who conquered much of Europe. Following Napoleon from the barren island of Corsica to his early training in Paris, from his meteoric victories and military dictatorship to his exile and death, Johnson examines the origins of his ferocious ambition. In Napoleon's quest for power, he sees a realist unfettered by loyalty or ideology; in his violent legacy, a model for the totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century. Napoleon is dramatic testimony to a single individual's ability to work his will on history.
...a near-perfect model of what a brief book can and should be: crisp, clear and strongly personal.