The Napoleonic Wars 1803-1815

Random House
2
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Known collectively as the 'Great War', for over a decade the Napoleonic Wars engulfed not only a whole continent but also the overseas possessions of the leading European states. A war of unprecedented scale and intensity, it was in many ways a product of change that acted as a catalyst for upheaval and reform across much of Europe, with aspects of its legacy lingering to this very day.

There is a mass of literature on Napoleon and his times, yet there are only a handful of scholarly works that seek to cover the Napoleonic Wars in their entirety, and fewer still that place the conflict in any broader framework. This study redresses the balance. Drawing on recent findings and applying a 'total' history approach, it explores the causes and effects of the conflict, and places it in the context of the evolution of modern warfare. It reappraises the most significant and controversial military ventures, including the war at sea and Napoleon's campaigns of 1805-9. The study gives an insight into the factors that shaped the war, setting the struggle in its wider economic, cultural, political and intellectual dimensions.

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About the author

David Gates was Deputy Director and Senior Fellow of the Centre for Defence and International Security Studies. He is the author of The Spanish Ulcer, and lives in Lancashire.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Random House
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Published on
Jun 8, 2011
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9781446448762
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / General
History / Military / General
History / Modern / General
Technology & Engineering / Military Science
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Owen Connelly
Renowned for its accuracy, brevity, and readability, this book has long been the gold standard of concise histories of the Napoleonic Wars. Now in an updated and revised edition, it is unique in its portrayal of one of the world's great generals as a scrambler who never had a plan, strategic or tactical, that did not break down or change of necessity in the field. Distinguished historian Owen Connelly argues that Napoleon was the master of the broken play, so confident of his ability to improvise, cover his own mistakes, and capitalize on those of the enemy that he repeatedly plunged his armies into uncertain, seemingly desperate situations, only to emerge victorious as he "blundered" to glory.

Beginning with a sketch of Napoleon's early life, the book progresses to his command of artillery at Toulon and the "whiff of grapeshot" in Paris that netted him control of the Army of Italy, where his incredible performance catapulted him to fame. The author vividly traces Napoleon's campaigns as a general of the French Revolution and emperor of the French, knowledgeably analyzing each battle's successes and failures. The author depicts Napoleon's "art of war" as a system of engaging the enemy, waiting for him to make a mistake, improvising a plan on the spot-and winning. Far from detracting from Bonaparte's reputation, his blunders rather made him a great general, a "natural" who depended on his intuition and ability to read battlefields and his enemy to win. Exploring this neglected aspect of Napoleon's battlefield genius, Connelly at the same time offers stirring and complete accounts of all the Napoleonic campaigns.
David Gates
A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Jernigan introduced David Gates as a novelist of the highest order. "Full of dark truths and biting humor,"  wrote Frederick Exley, "a brilliant novel [that] will be read for a long time."

After that blackly comic handbook of self-destruction--whose antihero shoulders up to such crucial American figures as Bellow's Herzog, Updike's Harry Angstrom, Heller's Bob Slocum, Percy's Binx Bolling and Irving's Garp--Gates's new novel investigates the essential truths of a marriage à la mode. Doug and Jean Willis fit the newly classic, recognizable and seemingly normal variety: struggling against a riptide of the daily commute, the mortgages, the latchkey child-rearing and the country house, as well as the hopes and desires from which all of this grew.

In accordance with their long-standing agreement, Doug embarks from their Westchester home on a leave of absence from the PR job that had ineluctably become his life, while Jean contends with both her own job and their two children. Over a two-month period he'll spruce up the family's alternative universe up north in rural Preston Falls; she'll deal with her end of the bargain, and her worries about the survival of the family. But then domesticity hits the brick wall of private longings and nightmarish twists of fate.

A surprising, comic, horrifying and always engrossing novel, charged with the responsibilities of middle age and with the abiding power of love, however disappointed--told with great artistry, pitch-perfect understanding and fierce compassion.

"A novel that's the funniest, sharpest, most strangely exciting book about men and women in a long time."
--Tom Prince, Maxim


From the Hardcover edition.
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