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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Andrew Roberts Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The definitive biography of the great soldier-statesman by the New York Times bestselling author of The Storm of War

Austerlitz, Borodino, Waterloo: his battles are among the greatest in history, but Napoleon Bonaparte was far more than a military genius and astute leader of men. Like George Washington and his own hero Julius Caesar, he was one of the greatest soldier-statesmen of all time.

Andrew Roberts’s Napoleon is the first one-volume biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon’s thirty-three thousand letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation. At last we see him as he was: protean multitasker, decisive, surprisingly willing to forgive his enemies and his errant wife Josephine. Like Churchill, he understood the strategic importance of telling his own story, and his memoirs, dictated from exile on St. Helena, became the single bestselling book of the nineteenth century.

An award-winning historian, Roberts traveled to fifty-three of Napoleon’s sixty battle sites, discovered crucial new documents in archives, and even made the long trip by boat to St. Helena. He is as acute in his understanding of politics as he is of military history. Here at last is a biography worthy of its subject: magisterial, insightful, beautifully written, by one of our foremost historians.

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Quotes & Awards

  • With his customary flair and keen historical eye, Andrew Roberts has delivered the goods again. This is the best single one-volume biography of Napoleon in English for the last four decades. A tour de force that belongs on every history lovers bookshelf! Jay Winik, bestselling author of The Great Upheaval and April 1865
  • Is another long life of Napoleon really necessary? On three counts, the answer given by Andrew Roberts’s impressive book is an emphatic yes. The most important is that this is the first single-volume general biography to make full use of the treasure trove of Napoleon’s 33,000-odd letters, which began being published in Paris only in 2004. Second, Roberts, who has previously written on Napoleon and Wellington, is a masterly analyst of the French emperor’s many battles. Third, his book is beautifully written and a pleasure to read. The Economist
  • Napoleon remade France and much of Europe in his fifteen years in power and proved himself one of history’s greatest military commanders. Roberts’s access to Napoleon’s thirty-three thousand letters, only recently available, allowed him to create a fully human portrait of this larger-than-life figure. The Wall Street Journal, Holiday Gift Guide: Leadership
  • A huge, rich, deep, witty, humane and unapologetically admiring biography that is a pleasure to read. The Napoleon painted here is a whirlwind of a man—not only a vigorous and supremely confident commander, but an astonishingly busy governor, correspondent and lover, too. . . . To dive into Roberts’s new book is to understand—indeed, to feel—why this peculiarly brilliant Corsican managed for so long to dazzle the world. Dan Jones, The Telegraph
  • Entertaining, even addictive . . . Roberts writes with great vigor, style, and fluency. Sunday Times (London)
  • Magnificent . . . Roberts’s fine book encompasses all the evidence to give a brilliant portrait of the man. The book, as it needs to be, is massive, yet the pace is brisk and it’s never overwhelmed by the scholarly research, which was plainly immense. Mail on Sunday
  • Truly a Napoleonic triumph of a book, elegantly written, epic in scale, novelistic in detail, irresistibly galloping with the momentum of a cavalry charge, as comfortable on the battlefield as in the bedroom. Here, at last, is the full biography. Simon Sebag Montefiore, Evening Standard, Books of the Year
  • Roberts not only brings the Napoleon story up to date but, with new evidence from the archives and an original spin on the present, makes a compelling case for why we should all read anew about the little Corsican in the 21st century. The Observer (London)
  • Magisterial and beautifully written . . . A richly detailed and sure-footed reappraisal of the man, his achievements—and failures—and the extraordinary times in which he lived. Standpoint
  • A definitive account that dispels many of the myths that surrounded Napoleon from his lifetime to the present day. Publishers Weekly
  • A compelling biography of the preeminent French general that stands apart from the rest, owing to the author’s thoroughness, accuracy, and attention to detail. Roberts relies on his military expertise, Napoleon’s surviving correspondence (33,000 items in all), and exhaustive on-site studies of French battlegrounds. . . . This voluminous work is likely to set the standard for subsequent accounts. Library Journal (starred review)
  • “Roberts is a masterly storyteller…I would recommend his book to anyone seeking an accessible chronicle, rich in anecdote, of Napoleon’s fantastic story.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • An epically scaled new biography . . . Roberts brilliantly conveys the sheer energy and presence of Napoleon. The New York Times Book Review
  • Roberts is a masterly storyteller. . . . I would recommend his book to anyone seeking an accessible chronicle, rich in anecdote, of Napoleon’s fantastic story. Max Hastings, The Wall Street Journal
  • “Is another long life of Napoleon really necessary? On three counts, the answer given by Andrew Roberts’ impressive book is an emphatic yes. The most important is that this is the first single-volume general biography to make full use of the treasure trove of Napoleon’s 33,000-odd letters, which began being published in Paris only in 2004. Second, Roberts, who has previously written on Napoleon and Wellington, is a masterly analyst of the French emperor’s many battles. Third, his book is beautifully written and a pleasure to read.”

    Economist (London)

  • “A huge, rich, deep, witty, humane and unapologetically admiring biography that is a pleasure to read. The Napoleon painted here is a whirlwind of a man—not only a vigorous and supremely confident commander but an astonishingly busy governor, correspondent, and lover, too…To dive into Roberts’ new book is to understand—indeed, to feel—why this peculiarly brilliant Corsican managed for so long to dazzle the world.”

    Telegraph (London)

  • “Entertaining, even addictive…Roberts writes with great vigor, style, and fluency.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “There have been many books about Napoleon, but Andrew Roberts’ single-volume biography is the first to make full use of the ongoing French publication of Napoleon’s 33,000 letters…Although Napoleon: A Life is 800+ pages long, it is both enjoyable and illuminating. Napoleon comes across as whip smart, well-studied, ambitious to a fault, a little awkward, and perhaps most importantly, a man who could turn on the charm when he needed to…A fascinating read.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “This 976-page magnum opus is the first to fully utilize the recent publication of the French conqueror’s 33,000 letters. In addition, the award-winning historian author has made telling discoveries in archives and in scores of visits to battlefields. This seminal biography is certain to be one of the most reviewed and discussed books of the year.”

    Barnes&Noble.com, editorial review

  • “The pleasures of Roberts’ big, richly detailed biography of the great French conqueror are enhanced in this outstanding audiobook production. John Lee is a steady and agreeable narrator, and a good choice for a work this long…Lee maintains the fine balance between intimacy and perspective, as well as between Napoleon’s current and former reputation, to make this one of the stellar histories and audiobook adaptations of this year. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • “Roberts relies on his military expertise, Napoleon’s surviving correspondence, and exhaustive on-site studies of French battlegrounds during the Hundred Days to carefully describe what each battle, including the Waterloo Campaign and the Neapolitan War, must have been like for victors and losers. In the process, he deflates many of the myths that still surround the emperor nearly 200 years after his final defeat at Waterloo in 1815. The author doesn’t apologize for Napoleon’s errors but the tone of his study is positie…Verdict: This voluminous work is likely to set the standard for subsequent accounts of Napoleon’s life. It should appeal widely to readers of all types.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “A definitive account that dispels many of the myths that surrounded Napoleon from his lifetime to the present day.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Readers will find this book to be a long but mostly pleasant reading experience.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for November 2014
  • An AudioFile Editors’ Pick in Biography for November 2014
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2014 New York Times Notable Book
  • Winner of the 2015 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography
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