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Simply Napoleon

by J. David Markham


The first emperor of France and one of the shrewdest military leaders of all time, Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821) eventually came to control much of Europe. In Simply Napoleon, author, lecturer and media personality J. David Markham tells Napoleon’s story, from his birth on the island of Corsica to his eventual imprisonment and death on the island of Saint Helena.

Markham explains how the famed military commander’s unique combination of determination, intellect, and personal charisma allowed him to rise from a provincial village to become a powerful and authoritative ruler. While taking an overall positive view of Napoleon, Markham also makes it a point to draw attention to his mistakes and their consequences, providing a balanced picture of this complicated figure who was both a product of his times and a man pointing the way to the future.

Marked by first-rate scholarship, as well as a highly readable and accessible style, Simply Napoleon is an exceptional introduction to Napoleon and his times—a study that not only illuminates a key personality and period in modern history, but also helps us understand how modern Europe took shape.

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