Napoleon, Master of Europe, 1805-07

Douglas Johnson writes:

It would appear to be difficult to write a book about Napoleon without apologising for it. Alistair Horne talks about the three hundred thousand which have already been devoted to this one man, but Edward Whitcomb brings about a substantial (and welcome) reduction by referring only to some two hundred thousand. David Chandler explains that ever since he wrote his excellent book on the campaigns of Napoleon ten years ago, he has been inundated by requests for further information coming from the widest possible variety of people, all of whom are, as he puts it, ‘caught up by the awesome range of Napoleon’s attributes and talents’, while Simon Schwarzfuchs, in his more specialised study of Napoleon and the Jews, refers to a change in Napoleon’s reputation and to his recent loss of repute among historians.

(LRB 7 February 1980)

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