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Napoleon: A Biography by Frank McLynn

Napoleon: A Biography (edition 2011)

by Frank McLynn

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185363,896 (3.85)5
Title:Napoleon: A Biography
Authors:Frank McLynn
Info:Arcade Publishing (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 752 pages
Collections:Your library

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Napoleon: A Biography by Frank McLynn



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A fairly useful biography of Napoleon and his campaigns, but ruined by a lot of specious psychobabble, a lot of unevidenced opinion, some rather sexist attitudes and some terrible howling errors. The two howlers that jumped out at me were that 1. Napoleon wasn't particularly short, actually, so attempts to give him a 'complex' about his height are nonsense, and 2. the persistent mistitling of Friedrich Wilhelm, King of Prussia, as 'Kaiser' or 'Emperor'. If you can't get something as simple as that right, it lends no confidence to the rest of your research. ( )
  sloopjonb | Dec 11, 2014 |
Mr. McLynn's book confirms my view that a fair account of a great man's life is better approached through a biographer who does not emanate from the same country. Although I read somewhere that Mr. McLynn is supposed to be "worshipping at the shrine", I found his biography thoroughly fair and balanced, very well written, constantly interesting and free of the rubbish very often found in French books on Napoleon, of which there are many. ( )
1 vote SigmundFraud | Jan 12, 2013 |
3653. Napoleon A Biography - Frank McLynn (read 24 Nov 2002) Even though it is less than five years since I read Alan Schom's biography of Napoleon, when I saw this new one I could not resist. This is a bit more balanced than Schom's (who could not find one good thing to say about his subject) and I think is a better work, though it lacks footnotes, but there are 49 pages of "sources" with most being French. The career of Napoleon never ceases to amaze and I enjoyed this book a lot, though much was not new. One stands in wonder how quickly Napoleon turned into a haughty person, and how all his family became rapacious people. This was a great book to read. ( )
1 vote Schmerguls | Nov 16, 2007 |
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Napoleon Bonaparte?s character and achievements have divided and fascinated critics and historians for decades. In this compelling new biography Frank McLynn draws on the most recent scholarship and throws a brilliant light on this most paradoxical of men--as military leader, emperor, and lover. The author explores the Promethean legend from his Corsican roots, through the chaotic years of the French Revolution and his extraordinary military triumphs, to the coronation in 1804, his fatal decision in 1812 to add Russia to his seemingly endless conquests, and his ultimate defeat, imprisonment, and death in Saint Helena. Napoleon the man emerges as an even more fascinating character than previously imagined, and McLynn aptly reveals the extent to which he was both existential hero and plaything of fate; mathematician and mystic; intellectual giant and moral pygmy; great man and deeply flawed human being. What makes this new biography unique is McLynn?s perceptive analysis of both the personalities around Napoleon (including his two wives, and a very large family) and the events of his spectacular career. His obsession with his family, and his conviction that every man has his price, make Napoleon emerge as closer to a modern Mafia godfather than a visionary European. In this work, McLynn offers a vivid and valuable canvas, and new dimension, to eighteenth-century European history. He also brings the reader, as never before, closer to understanding the much mythologized Napoleon.… (more)

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