Philip Dwyer Napoleon: The Path to Power

ISBN 13: 9780300137545

Napoleon: The Path to Power

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9780300137545: Napoleon: The Path to Power

At just thirty years of age, Napoleon Bonaparte ruled the most powerful country in Europe. But the journey that led him there was neither inevitable nor smooth.  This authoritative biography focuses on the evolution of Napoleon as a leader and debunks many of the myths that are often repeated about him sensational myths often propagated by Napoleon himself. Here, Philip Dwyer sheds new light on Napoleon’s inner life especially his darker side and his passions to reveal a ruthless, manipulative, driven man whose character has been disguised by the public image he carefully fashioned to suit the purposes of his ambition.


Dwyer focuses acutely on Napoleon’s formative years, from his Corsican origins to his French education, from his melancholy youth to his flirtation with radicals of the French Revolution, from his first military campaigns in Italy and Egypt to the political-military coup that brought him to power in 1799. One of the first truly modern politicians, Napoleon was a master of spin,” using the media to project an idealized image of himself. Dwyer’s biography of the young Napoleon provides a fascinating new perspective on one of the great figures of modern history.

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About the Author:

Philip Dwyer is senior lecturer at The University of Newcastle in Australia. He is author or editor of numerous publications on Napoleonic Europe, and is currently writing a biography of Napoleon’s later years.


“. . . more than just a canter across familiar attractive addition to the literature on one of the most controversial figures in modern European history”—Thomas Munch-Petersen, BBC History Magazine
(Thomas Munch-Petersen BBC History Magazine)

"An excellent history and a very good read."—John Merriman, New York Sun  (John Merriman New York Sun 2008-03-26)

"For readers interested in the French Revolution, Dwyer's biography possesses attractive narrative fluidity and long-term library value as a research source."—Booklist (Booklist 2008-03-15)

“Remarkable . . . . Even-handed and authoritative, this fascinating and highly enjoyable book will be an eye opener even to those who think they know the subject well”—Adam Zamoyski, Sunday Times of London
(Adam Zamoyski Sunday Times of London)

"Philip Dwyer's scrupulously researched new biography Napoleon. . . reveals the very familiar and unromantic processes by which [Napoleon's] power was acquired, or rather taken, from a public seduced by myths and romantic fictions."—David Walton, Dallas Morning News (David Walton Dallas Morning News 2008-05-25)

"[W]ell-written and thoughtfully argued. . . . one recommended to those interested in . . . Napoleon Bonaparte and the French Revolution. It should also be of great interest to political scientists studying the blend of the political and military arenas personified in one man."—Colonel James P. Herson, Jr., Parameters: U.S. Army War College Quarterly (Colonel James P. Herson, Jr., Parameters: U.S. Army War College Quarterly 2009-02-10)

"Dwyer deserves praise for elements of his fresh, modern approach and exhaustive research. . . . [His] biography is fascinating in its unusual descriptions of Napoleon's tribulations and his motivations."—Llewellyn Cook, The Journal of Military History (Llewellyn Cook The Journal of Military History 2009-02-10)

"Enlightening. . . . An excellent read for the specialist of the French Revolution as well as the specialist in Bonapartism."—Anne York, The Historian (Anne York The Historian)

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