- Paperback: 1216 pages
- Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (September 15, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0297813676
- ISBN-13: 978-0297813675
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.5 x 2.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,842,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Campaigns of Napoleon
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Eliot Fremont-Smith Books of the Times A massive and absorbing -- one is tempted to say definitive -- account and detailed analysis of the military career of Napoleon....The descriptions of the battles -- all the important ones, and all augmented by superb position maps -- have perhaps never been done with greater clarity.
The New York Review of Books Chandler can hold up his head with the best of them. His prose is as clear as his intellect....his scholarship is excellent...this is a fine book for the historian, the student, and the intelligent reader.
Los Angeles Times Chandler's analysis is so thorough that there is hardly an area untouched.
The New Yorker The book is engrossing, and...amounts to a first-rate general account of Europe in the Napoleonic era....brilliant, unremittingly attentive to detail and sparkling with insights into a man, a nation, and an epoch.
The Boston Globe Writing clearly and vividly, [Chandler] turns dozens of persons besides Napoleon from mere wooden soldiers into three- dimensional characters.
John Barkham Book Week In every way...a pleasure to read...a remarkable work which comes as close to dissecting the ingredients of Napoleon's military genius as any I have read...[it is] that rare combination -- a book impeccable in its expertise, penetrating in its analysis, and attractive in its presentation. No matter how numerous your books on Napoleon, make room for this one.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Few works equal the scope and scholarship of Chandler's The Campaigns of Napoleon...a masterpiece in the truest sense of what military history ought to be. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
David G. Chandler is Head of the Department of War Studies at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and a Fellow of both the Royal Historical and the Royal Geographical societies. He is President of the British Commission for Military History and a Vice- President of the Commission International d'Histoire Militaire.
During his researches for The Campaigns of Napoleon, Mr. Chandler made considerable use of primary sources -- including the thirty-two volumes of Correspondence de I'Empereur Napoleon Iier -- and consulted many contemporary memoirs and military commentaries. (This he did with some caution, for such material is often far from reliable.) He also examined many of the most revealing and interesting studies that have been written by soldiers and scholars over the past 145 years, and he incorporated extracts from recently discovered sources in the hope of illuminating still further the well- trodden paths of Napoleonic studies.
The author of a dozen works on early eighteenth-and early nineteenth-century military history, David G. Chandler is a recognized authority in the Marlburian and Napoleonic periods. His other publications include A Dictionary of the Napoleonic Wars, 1979, Waterloo -- The Hundred Days, 1980, An Atlas of Military Strategy, 1980, and Napoleon's Marshals, (editor), 1987. He has also contributed a chapter to Volume VI of the New Cambridge Modern History as well as numerous articles and reviews to magazines and journals. Chandler lives in Yately, Hampshire, England. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is really three books in one: it is partly a biography of Napoleon, partly an analysis of his art of war, and partly a history of his campaigns. It covers NBs youth, his meteoric rise to prominance after the French Revolution, and every campaign that he participated in. I've read this book cover to cover three times, and individual chapters so many times that I've lost count. Chandler's writing style is engrossing and easy to read, not dry summaries of facts and events and dates. He is both a great writer and a great historian.
My (or others') disagreements with Chandler on individual points simply do not detract from this masterly work. I would agree, however, that this book is very Anglo-centric, probably its biggest drawback. Historians are often looking for `balance' in their assessments, and it is in this area that Chandler is weakest. I think he overplays the role of the English in ultimately defeating Napoleon, although this is a problem with virtually everthing that has been written about Napoleon by the English. Oddly, I would also agree that Chandler treats Napoleon with almost hero worship. Too much hyperbole perhaps, but this is more of a literary criticism of the text rather than historical. One negative comment that other reviewers have made regarding this book is that it is either factually incorrect or incomplete/not sufficiently detailed, etc. These are insignificant criticisms in my view. There are no gross historical errors in this book, either in facts or in interpretation, to my knowledge. If you want a balanced, broad view of any historical era, you must read a variety of primary and secondary sources. In the case of the Napoleonic wars, you must read French, German, and Russian sources as well. This book is not the only word on the subject, but the best written in English. This is the BEST book on the subject, this is one of the best histories ever written, even if neither perfect nor exhaustive.
I HIGHLY recommend this book. It is WELL worth the money to purchase it and the time spent to read it. If I had to throw out all but ten of my books, this is one of the ten I would keep. I would recommend this book to someone who is not particularly interested in the era, much as I would Foote's series. Don't pay any attention to the reviewers who have given this book less than five stars, they are niggling over trifles. This is an outstanding book.
I do not agree with those who say that Chandler exhibits a British bias. He clearly sees Napoleon as the greatest military leader of his time, and perhaps of all time. In other writings, he has soundly rejected comparisons made by other historians between Hitler and Napoleon. Moreover, he makes clear that, at least in the early years of his leadership, Napoleon was not to blame for the wars that engulfed Europe.
Finally, despite the length of the book, I found it to be extremely readable, and not hard to finish at all.
The book is not something you can sit down and read all the way through even in multiple sittings over the course of a year. It is, however, a book you can and will refer to again and again as you explore the Napoleonic Wars.
Chandler covers Napoleon's early lif, his ascendancy and then his decline both as a strategist and a political leader. He also delves deeply into the colorful and eccentric personalities of the period. There is also an extended treatment of the development of the style of army Napoleon inherited and a discussion of how his predecessors lay the groundwork for his success.
I love the book so much that I have recently purchased the Kindle version so I can have it as a mobile reference for those times I want to escape the current century!
I read numerous reviews and all indications were that this was THE book to get on the subject. Well let me say I was not disappointed. This must be the best one volume treatment of Napoleon and how he wielded his Grande Armee! The book is very thorough and comprehensive...not for beginners. I found I had to read it twice to fully comprehend what was going on. This led me to buy Elting and Esposito's "A military history and atlas of the napoleonic wars". This book desribed step by step with excellent maps what Chandler had described and more since it dealt with all the napoleonic campaigns and not just the ones in which Napoleon had been involved as does Chandler's work.
All in all the above three books are must haves. Swords around a throne describes Napoleon's weapons- his Grande Armee, Campaigns of Napoleon describes the history of his use of the weapon and the atlas desribes how he used it in detail. Get all three!!!
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