- Series: Napoleon and Europe (Book 1)
- Paperback: 808 pages
- Publisher: Da Capo Press (July 10, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0306815451
- ISBN-13: 978-0306815454
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.8 x 8.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,265,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The End of the Old Order: Napoleon and Europe, 1801-1805 Paperback – July 10, 2007
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“Kagan offers the reader a detailed narrative that successfully combines domestic and foreign policies with war…Often original and perceptive.”
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Top Customer Reviews
When you get to the real military stuff a good chunk is devoted to describing Napoleon's war plans and assumptions as well as the Russian and Austrian high command's war plans. A lot of attention is focused on Mack and Archduke Charles and their assumptions and feelings about the war. He covers the strategic and tactical orders of the campaign in great detail. The story is often told through individual regiments rather than whole corps. Before Austerlitz there is a long chapter regarding the Austrian plan for 'victory' as well as Napoleon's plans. When the battle occurs the detail is the same. Other fronts such as Massena and Charles in Italy are covered various chapters.
In summary, if you are looking for a good detailed account of the 1805 campaign this is for you. If you are looking for an into you might need something less 'meaty.' Another quick comment, this story is not written through experience of soldiers. It is mainly written through movement of troops and political negotiations.
Any student of the Napoleonic period with eye to balance will enjoy this large text with its details, excellent sources and copious foot and chapter notes (alway so important in any examination). Very highly recommended.
This book is a high wire act that succeeds wonderfully. I was sure volume 2 was complete, if it is I can't find it. In any event, vol.1 is well worth the effort.
Some reviewers see Kagan as criticizing Napoleon as inept, and fortunate in the even worse incompetence of his contemporaries. I don't read this history that way. Kagan does point out the multiple ways in which Napoleon could have lost these major battles. But everyone, Kagan included, understands that Napoleon was facing the commanders he faced and the battlefield situation that existed. Part of commanding a battle is getting inside the head of your opponent and counteracting the actions that he will take--not the ones that he might take in an alternate universe.
The book is very long, and is not a quick read. The pages are densely packed with details, discussions, and hypotheses. If you are looking for a detailed history of Napoleon's Europe, this is a good place to start--at least for the period up through 1805.