NOW A MAJOR BBC2 TV SERIES
AWARDED THE PRIX DU JURY DES GRANDS PRIX DE LA FONDATION NAPOLÉON 2014
From Andrew Roberts, author of the Sunday Times bestseller The Storm of War, this is the definitive modern biography of Napoleon.
Napoleon Bonaparte lived one of the most extraordinary of all human lives. In the space of just twenty years, from October 1795 when as a young artillery captain he cleared the streets of Paris of insurrectionists, to his final defeat at the (horribly mismanaged) battle of Waterloo in June 1815, Napoleon transformed France and Europe. After seizing power in a coup d'état he ended the corruption and incompetence into which the Revolution had descended. In a series of dazzling battles he reinvented the art of warfare; in peace, he completely remade the laws of France, modernised her systems of education and administration, and presided over a flourishing of the beautiful 'Empire style' in the arts. The impossibility of defeating his most persistent enemy, Great Britain, led him to make draining and ultimately fatal expeditions into Spain and Russia, where half a million Frenchmen died and his Empire began to unravel.
More than any other modern biographer, Andrew Roberts conveys Napoleon's tremendous energy, both physical and intellectual, and the attractiveness of his personality, even to his enemies. He has walked 53 of Napoleon's 60 battlefields, and has absorbed the gigantic new French edition of Napoleon's letters, which allows a complete re-evaluation of this exceptional man. He overturns many received opinions, including the myth of a great romance with Josephine: she took a lover immediately after their marriage, and, as Roberts shows, he had three times as many mistresses as he acknowledged.
Of the climactic Battle of Leipzig in 1813, as the fighting closed around them, a French sergeant-major wrote, 'No-one who has not experienced it can have any idea of the enthusiasm that burst forth among the half-starved, exhausted soldiers when the Emperor was there in person. If all were demoralised and he appeared, his presence was like an electric shock. All shouted "Vive l'Empereur!" and everyone charged blindly into the fire.'
The reader of this biography will understand why this was so.
From the author of Masters and Commanders, Andrew Roberts' The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War has been hailed as the finest single-volume account of this epic conflict.
The Second World War lasted for 2,174 days and claimed the lives of over 50 million people. Why did it take the course that it did? Why did the Axis lose? And could they, with a different strategy, have won?
Ranging from the Western front to North Africa, from the Baltic to the Far East, he brings the story of the war - and those who fought it - into focus as never before.
'One of the greatest historians of our time ... His masterpiece' <br /> Oliver Marre, Observer
'An undoubted triumph. This, simply, is the best one-volume history of the Second World War currently available'<br /> Laurence Rees
'Magnificent ... Stylish penmanship, gritty research and lucid reasoning, coupled with poignant and haunting detours into private lives ruined and shortened' <br /> Economist
'Moving, thought-provoking, enlightening'<br /> Roger Moorhouse, Independent
'An exceptional accomplishment ... the definitive single-volume history of the war ... Essential' <br /> Peter Watts, Time Out
'In what might be his best book yet, Roberts gives us the war as seen from the other side of the hill - the German Reich' <br /> Nigel Jones, Sunday Telegraph
Andrew Roberts's Masters and Commanders was one of the most acclaimed, bestselling history books of 2008. His previous books include Salisbury: Victorian Titan (1999), which won the Wolfson History Prize and the James Stern Silver Pen Award for Non-Fiction, Hitler and Churchill: Secrets of Leadership (2003), which coincided with four-part BBC2 history series.
Andrew Roberts's Masters and Commanders: The Military Geniuses who led the West to Victory in WWII tells the story of how four great leaders fought each other over how best to fight Hitler.
During the Second World War the master strategy of the West was shaped by four titanic figures: Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, and their respective military commanders - General Sir Alan Brooke and General George C. Marshall. Each man was tough-willed and strong minded. And each was certain he knew best how to achieve victory.
Drawing on previously unpublished material, including for the first time verbatim reports of Churchill's War Cabinet meetings, Andrew Roberts's acclaimed history recreates with vivid immediacy the fiery debates and political maneuverings, the rebuffs and the charm, the explosive rows and dramatic reconciliations, as the masters and commanders of the Western Alliance fought each other over the best way to fight Adolf Hitler.
'History as it should be written; a gripping narrative' <br /> Michael Gove, Mail on Sunday Books of the Year
'Scintillating historical writing on the whole rich panorama of Britain and the US at war' <br /> Martin Gilbert, Evening Standard
'A compelling analysis of American and British military strategy during the war. He also tells a profoundly human story' <br /> Laurence Rees, Sunday Times
'A masterpiece' <br /> Christopher Silvester, Daily Express
'Britain's finest contemporary military historian' <br /> Economist Books of the Year
Andrew Roberts is a biographer and historian of international renown whose previous books include Salisbury: Victorian Titan (1999), which won the Wolfson History Prize and the James Stern Silver Pen Award for Non-Fiction; Napoleon and Wellington (2001); Hitler and Churchill: Secrets of Leadership (2003), which coincided with four-part BBC2 history series, and A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900 (2005).
Andrew Roberts is a biographer and historian of international renown whose books include Salisbury: Victorian Titan (winner, the Wolfson Prize for History); Masters and Commanders; and The Storm of War, which reached No. 2 on the Sunday Times bestseller list. His most recent book was Napoleon the Great (2014), which won the Grand Prix of the Fondation Napoléon. Roberts is a Fellow of the Royal Societies of Literature and Arts. He appears regularly on British television and radio and writes for the Sunday Telegraph, Spectator, Literary Review, Mail on Sunday and Daily Telegraph.