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By David A. Bell

This e-book presents a concise, actual, and energetic portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte's personality and occupation, situating him firmly in ancient context.

David Bell emphasizes the unbelievable experience of human possibility--for either strong and ill--that Napoleon represented. by means of his overdue twenties, Napoleon used to be already one of many maximum generals in ecu historical past. At thirty, he had develop into absolute grasp of Europe's strongest nation. In his early forties, he governed a ecu empire extra strong than any considering Rome, combating wars that modified the form of the continent and taken demise to hundreds of thousands. Then every little thing collapsed, major him to spend his final years in depressing exile within the South Atlantic.

Bell emphasizes the significance of the French Revolution in realizing Napoleon's profession. The revolution made attainable the remarkable focus of political authority that Napoleon amassed, and his luck in mobilizing human and fabric assets. with no the political adjustments caused through the revolution, Napoleon couldn't have fought his wars. with no the wars, he couldn't have seized and held onto strength. notwithstanding his digital dictatorship betrayed the beliefs of liberty and equality, his lifestyles and occupation have been innovative.

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Yet Napoleon himself shared these discomforts, sometimes himself going a whole day without food, and he The General, 1796–1799 3 7 constantly urged the men on with the promise of rich spoils and glory. Despite the harsh conditions, the army arrived outside of Cairo in good condition and on July 21 fought the main Mameluke force in the Battle of the Pyramids, within sight of these most famous Egyptian monuments. The French were well-trained and well-equipped and possessed deadly mobile artillery that the Mamelukes could not match.

8 But in the eighteenth century, many European military officers gained sizeable literary reputations, including Choderlos de Laclos, the author of Dangerous Liaisons, and the Marquis de Sade. There was nothing unusual in the young Napoleon writing to a famous figure of the late Enlightenment, the abbé Raynal, to introduce himself. ”)9 And there was nothing unusual in Raynal sending back words of fulsome encouragement. In 1791, following a path blazed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Napoleon would try to jump-start a literary career by entering a prize essay contest sponsored by a learned academy, in this case on the subject of happiness.

Ruled by the warrior caste of the Mamelukes under the nominal aegis of the Turks’ Ottoman Empire, the country possessed a strategic position on both the Mediterranean and Red Seas. ) For Napoleon, the idea of conquering it served a triple purpose. It gave him the perfect excuse to withdraw from a political scene that was not yet ready for him. It offered him the chance to add even more laurels to his reputation—and what better destination, for a man so frequently compared to Alexander the Great and Caesar, than a country both had conquered in their days?

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