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Napoleon and the Hundred Days

por Stephen Coote

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831248,547 (3.31)1
In Vienna, 1815, as the political aristocrats of Europe assemble to determine the fate of the continent after defeating Napoleon, the news arrived that Napoleon had escaped captivity and was returning to France. Bonaparte-the revolutionary turned emperor and "disturber of the world's peace"-was fast approaching Paris, gathering troops and taking cities without firing a single shot. He had returned, and it would be just one hundred days before he met his enemies in a final, epic battle.In Napoleon and the Hundred Days, Stephen Coote vividly re-creates the rise and fall of Bonaparte's empire, and brings to life the characters who shaped it: Wellington, Britain's Iron Duke; Josephine, Napoleon's great love; Talleyrand, his duplicitous minister; Fouché, the sinister head of the secret police; Blücher, the uncouth yet courageous Prussian commander; and, of course, Napoleon himself. Displaying his customary blend of a historian's eye and a novelist's dramatic style, Stephen Coote describes how the path to war became inevitable and how, at the battle at Waterloo, the fatigued but ever arrogant Napoleon met his match. This is a dazzling portrait of the legendary emperor, whose genius, courage, and tenacity won-and lost-him a vast empire.… (más)
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Although this purports to concern itself with the Waterloo Campaign, it's really just a once-over-lightly on Napoleon's life and empire by an author who is a good storyteller. He rambles on about this-n-that for over 100 pages before he even gets to 1814, let alone 1815. The half of the book which actually deals with the Hundred Days is best on the politics and diplomacy of the days preceding, and, especially, following, the battle of Waterloo. Like most British authors, Coote is totally unfair to the Emperor; almost every French character who appears is portrayed as a malevolent boob; between this bias and the rather facile yarn-spinning, it's difficult to recommend this book among a crowded field. ( )
1 vota Big_Bang_Gorilla | Jul 22, 2013 |
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In Vienna, 1815, as the political aristocrats of Europe assemble to determine the fate of the continent after defeating Napoleon, the news arrived that Napoleon had escaped captivity and was returning to France. Bonaparte-the revolutionary turned emperor and "disturber of the world's peace"-was fast approaching Paris, gathering troops and taking cities without firing a single shot. He had returned, and it would be just one hundred days before he met his enemies in a final, epic battle.In Napoleon and the Hundred Days, Stephen Coote vividly re-creates the rise and fall of Bonaparte's empire, and brings to life the characters who shaped it: Wellington, Britain's Iron Duke; Josephine, Napoleon's great love; Talleyrand, his duplicitous minister; Fouché, the sinister head of the secret police; Blücher, the uncouth yet courageous Prussian commander; and, of course, Napoleon himself. Displaying his customary blend of a historian's eye and a novelist's dramatic style, Stephen Coote describes how the path to war became inevitable and how, at the battle at Waterloo, the fatigued but ever arrogant Napoleon met his match. This is a dazzling portrait of the legendary emperor, whose genius, courage, and tenacity won-and lost-him a vast empire.

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