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The Wars Against Napoleon: Ben Weider has done it again. Now, in his latest book, The Wars Against Napoleon: Indefatigable warrior, Napoleon supposedly sacrificed world peace to his insatiable personal ambition. We do not believe that it is. After all, if they were a continuation of the previous wars against Revolutionary France, and if the latter were wars of self-defence, then France would have won them if she emerged without loss of territory or change to her form of government.

And this was in substance achieved.

The Wars Against Napoleon: Debunking the Myth of the Napoleonic Wars by Michel Franceschi

Ditto for her form of government. So France came out of the war with a modest increase of territory and not much more undemocratic than before the wars, and thus could fairly claim to have won them. All the same, I wonder how many Frenchmen saw it that way at the time. I found this book one of the most wretchedly written I have ever encountered. They do not say that: In fact, although Wellington hung on grimly, it was the arrival of 45, Prussians, 7, of whom died at the hands of the Young Guard at Placenoit, that sealed the Emperor's fate.

Not many of those Prussians went to Eton by the way. As a reader of dozens of books on this period, I can honestly say that this is the first one that I have come across that looks at things from Napoleon's perspective. If anything, having read well over books about Napoleon in the last ten years and written a book about him myself, I think this book is even better than I thought 10 years ago.

Jan 17, Stacie rated it it was ok Shelves: I realize that there are two sides to every story; especially when it comes to history.

The Wars Against Napoleon – Book Review

Napoleon was never to blame for anything? I can't decide which part I liked the best That was brilliant on the part of Alexander! It was definitely written by people that adore Napoleon whose sole aim was to remove all responsibility and wrong doing from the Emperor and to place this short little man on a very large pedastal.


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I really liked this book. Althought it does get lost in adoration occasionally, it clearly shows that basically all of the wars he fougth as consul and emperor were forced upon Napoleon. It doesn't hide his mistakes, such as 'spanish cancer' but also points out all the factors that were at play, from both sides. Jan 11, Sean Chick rated it really liked it. My rating of a 4 is not quite accurate, for the prose is bad and the argument fails to appreciate Napoleon's less savory actions.

Yet, I agree with the overall thesis. The monarchs of Europe wanted war more than Napoleon did, driven by the desire to weaken France and snuff out any trace of the French Revolution. The book though did not explain Napoleon's own later failures nor his willingness to trust the sword too readily. It was less that Napoleon was a true warmonger and more that he relied o My rating of a 4 is not quite accurate, for the prose is bad and the argument fails to appreciate Napoleon's less savory actions.

It was less that Napoleon was a true warmonger and more that he relied on his army to get him out of an increasingly bad diplomatic situation. The four rating is mostly because this book runs counter to the sea of recent works that read as if they came out of Metternich's propaganda machine. Mar 20, Bill rated it it was ok. History typically is written by the winners, so it's no surprise that Napolean's triumphant foes would portray him as having no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

The author in this book goes to the polar opposite view: Napoleon was a saintly ruler without an ignoble motive or bone in his body. I would not have been at all surprised if at any point in the book, he was compared to Jesus. The truth is probably as usual somewhere between the 2 extremes. The author seems to feel that this is a groundb History typically is written by the winners, so it's no surprise that Napolean's triumphant foes would portray him as having no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

The author seems to feel that this is a groundbreaking perspective, but I remember reading a 2-volume biography of Napolean over 20 years ago that held the same view. The book's credibility takes a hit in my eyes by repeating as truth the supposition about Napolean being assasinated by arsenic on St. That theory has been long debated but never conclusively proven either way a new study released in February concluded the arsenic in his system was the result of constant absorption throughout Napoleon's life. Regardless, there is doubt on this issue but the author ignores that.

Of course, death from deliberate poisoning by his enemies fits perfectly with the portrayal of Napoleon as being relentlessly persecuted by foes who behaved despicably. Still, this book makes some convincing points on how war was often forced on Napoleon; he was not seeking it. It is an entertaining read. Feb 18, Dinko rated it it was ok.

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An erratic rant more than a myth buster. That the authors were passionate about their topic cannot be denied.


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  8. Unfortunately the book jumps randomly from one event to another, leaping a dozen years forward then back then forward again. Napoleon is attributed actions and feelings for which the authors provide no proof. The Duke was killed. We must take the authors' statement that Napoleon would have pardoned him as fact. No proof is provided that N An erratic rant more than a myth buster. No proof is provided that Napoleon had the intention to pardon him. The book's intro states that Napoleon backers will be reconfirmed in their beliefs.

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    Opponents will be shaken. I was just curious to read something different. What I read was an impassioned rant, but little proof. Oct 13, Simon rated it it was ok Shelves: Do not read this book if you're looking for a a scholarly or academic analysis of the Napoleonic wars.

    [Waterloo] Napoleonic Era Infantry Combat vs. Modern Combat

    This book was clearly written by two ardent admirers of Napoleon and is replete with epithets and superlatives that make it almost unreadable. The whole purpose is to exonerate Napoleon and acquit him from any guilt during the Napoleonic Wars. Additionally, the book contains factual errors, such as the assertion that Napoleon was murdered by poison, an assertion that has been proven to be f Do not read this book if you're looking for a a scholarly or academic analysis of the Napoleonic wars.

    Additionally, the book contains factual errors, such as the assertion that Napoleon was murdered by poison, an assertion that has been proven to be false. It's a short, interesting read though, just to gain an alternative perspective on a very interesting time in history. Jul 29, Jonathan Hopkins rated it liked it Shelves: Interesting take on Napoleon by renowned apologist and unfortunately the late Ben Weider in conjunction with Michel Franceschi now where have I heard that name before?!

    This is a deliberate shot across the bows of the Emperor's vehement detractors, and worth reading for that fact alone. Whether you believe Bonaparte was a saint - as the authors do - or sinner - as most British historians seem to - or whether you steer a middle course, as I do, the book offers a glimpse into Napoleon's thinking Interesting take on Napoleon by renowned apologist and unfortunately the late Ben Weider in conjunction with Michel Franceschi now where have I heard that name before?!

    Whether you believe Bonaparte was a saint - as the authors do - or sinner - as most British historians seem to - or whether you steer a middle course, as I do, the book offers a glimpse into Napoleon's thinking often missing from biographies. Whether you agree with the authors' views is another matter.

    The Wars Against Napoleon: Debunking the Myth of the Napoleonic Wars

    Oct 25, Nicholas rated it liked it. Strong elaboration and telling of errors made in campaigning, as well as tactical errors that would ultimatley allow some of Napoleon's adversaries who's armies weren't as strong or hoed the weapons and technology that would allow him to conquer. A good telling though dry in some parts that would end with the mistakes of Waterloo. A bit too one sided I'm a Napoleonaphile , but the writers went way beyond in their homage to the little corporeal.

    The history could have been compelling but their devotion and worship of the Emperor sapped any credibility. The excerpts from Napoleon's writings were quite illuminating. Jun 03, Brian Sullivan rated it really liked it. An excellent book for those seeking ti understand the society from which Napoleon grew and fought, as well as that of the victorious re?

    Dec 20, Andre rated it liked it. This book is extremely biased and is not embarassed about it that it reads like tabloid at times.