Napoleon and the Art of Leadership (Hardback)
How a Flawed Genius Changed the History of Europe and the World
No one in history has provoked more controversy than Napoleon Bonaparte. Was he an enlightened ruler or brutal tyrant? Was he an insatiable warmonger or a defender of France against the aggression of the other great powers. Was he kind or cruel, farsighted or blinkered, a sophisticate or a philistine, a builder or a destroyer? Napoleon was at once all that his partisans laud, his enemies condemn, and much more. He remains fascinating, both because he so dramatically changed the course of history and had such a complex, paradoxical character.
One thing is certain, if the art of leadership is about getting what one wants, then Napoleon was among history’s greatest masters. He understood and asserted the dynamic relationship among military, economic, diplomatic, technological, cultural, psychological, and thus political power. War was the medium through which he was able to demonstrate his innate skills, leading his armies to victories across Europe. He overthrew France’s corrupt republican government in a coup then asserted near dictatorial powers. Those powers were then wielded with great dexterity in transforming France from feudalism to modernity with a new law code, canals, roads, ports, schools, factories, national bank, currency, and standard weights and measures. With those successes, he convinced the Senate to proclaim him France’s emperor and even got the pope to preside over his coronation. He reorganized swaths of Europe into new states and placed his brothers and sisters on the thrones.
This is Napoleon as has never been seen before. No previous book has explored deeper or broader into his seething labyrinth of a mind and revealed more of its complex, fascinating, provocative, and paradoxical dimensions. Napoleon has never before spoken so thoroughly about his life and times through the pages of a book, nor has an author so deftly examined the veracity or mendacity of his words. Within are dimensions of Napoleon that may charm, appall, or perplex, many buried for two centuries and brought to light for the first time.
Napoleon and the Art of Leadership is a psychologically penetrating study of the man who had such a profound effect on the world around him that the entire era still bears his name.
The art of power consists of getting what one wants. That is never more challenging than when a nation is at war. Britain fought a nearly non-stop war against first revolutionary then Napoleonic France from 1793 to 1815. During those twenty-two years, the British government formed, financed, and led seven coalitions against France. The French inflicted humiliating defeats on the first five coalitions. Eventually Britain and its allies prevailed, not once but twice by vanquishing Napoleon temporarily in 1814 and definitively in 1815. French revolutionaries had created and a new form of warfare,…By Dr William Nester
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