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Napoleon

Paul Johnson

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Biography: general, Prose: non-fiction

A short and vivid biography, which deconstructs the Napoleonic myth and reveals the reality of his rule.

Written with great wit and panache, this biography also has a serious purpose: to make us face up to the moral bankruptcy of Napoleon's dictatorship. Johnson tells the whole story: his astonishing gift for figures and calculation, his mastery of cannon; his audacious, hyperactive and aggressive generalship and his simple battle tactics; his complete control of propaganda and the success of the cultural presentation of the Empire; the Code Napoleon; his failure as an international statesman, as Europe grew to hate him; his marshals and ministers; his wives, mistresses, personal style and working methods; the British blockade and the Continental System; the mistakes in Spain and Russia. The escape from Elba, the events leading up to Waterloo and the battle itself, which gets a full treatment, is particularly riveting.

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Paul Johnson

AUTHOR INFORMATION Paul Johnson was born in 1928 and educated at Stonyhurst and Magdalen College, Oxford. He has enjoyed a varied career, which includes army service and international journalism. He has contributed to many of the world's most famous newspapers and magazines and has travelled to all five continents to report events, interview presidents and prime ministers for the press and TV, and to lecture to academic and business audiences. He is married to the public affairs administrator Marigold Johnson and has four grown-up children.

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