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The Age of Napoleon transformed Europe, laying the foundations of the modern world; now Alistair Horne has written a definitive new account of that era.
Born into poverty on the remote island of Corsica, Napoleon rose to prominence in the turbulent years following the French Revolution, when most of Europe was arrayed against France. Through a string of brilliant and improbable military victories (victories that drew in equal parts from Napoleon's military genius and his remarkable ability to inspire his troops), Napoleon brought about a victorious peace that made him the idol of France and, later, its absolute ruler.
Heir to the French Revolution, Napoleon was not himself a revolutionary; rather, he was a reformer and a modernizer, both liberator and autocrat. Looking both into the Napoleonic wars that raged on the one hand, and the new social world coming into being on the other, Horne incisively guides students through every aspect of Napoleon's two-decade rule, from a newfound commitment to an aristocracy based on merit rather than blood, to the civil code (his most important legacy), to censorship, cuisine and the texture of daily life in Paris.
At the center of Horne's story is a singularly remarkable man, one whose ambition, willpower, energy, and ability to command changed history, and defined an age.