The Wars Against Napoleon: Debunking the Myth of the Napoleonic Wars

The Wars Against Napoleon Debunking the Myth of the Napoleonic Wars Popular and scholarly history presents a one dimensional image of Napoleon as an inveterate instigator of war who repeatedly sought large scale military conquests General Franceschi and Ben Weider dis

Popular and scholarly history presents a one dimensional image of Napoleon as an inveterate instigator of war who repeatedly sought large scale military conquests General Franceschi and Ben Weider dismantle this false conclusion in The Wars Against Napoleon, a brilliantly written and researched study that turns our understanding of the French emperor on its head.AvoidingPopular and scholarly history presents a one dimensional image of Napoleon as an inveterate instigator of war who repeatedly sought large scale military conquests General Franceschi and Ben Weider dismantle this false conclusion in The Wars Against Napoleon, a brilliantly written and researched study that turns our understanding of the French emperor on its head.Avoiding the simplistic cliches and rudimentary caricatures many historians use when discussing Napoleon, Franceschi and Weider argue persuasively that the caricature of the megalomaniac conqueror who bled Europe white to satisfy his delirious ambitions and insatiable love for war is groundless By carefully scrutinizing the facts of the period and scrupulously avoiding the sometimes confusing cause and effect of major historical events, they paint a compelling portrait of a fundamentally pacifist Napoleon, one completely at odds with modern scholarly thought This rigorous intellectual presentation is based upon three principal themes The first explains how an unavoidable belligerent situation existed after the French Revolution of 1789 The new France inherited by Napoleon was faced with the implacable hatred of reactionary European monarchies determined to restore the ancient regime All out war was therefore inevitable unless France renounced the modern world to which it had just painfully given birth The second theme emphasizes Napoleon s determined efforts bordering on an obsession, argue the authors to avoid this inevitable conflict The political strategy of the Consulate and the Empire was based on the intangible principle of preventing or avoiding these wars, not on conquering territory Finally, the authors examine, conflict by conflict, the evidence that Napoleon never declared war As he later explained at Saint Helena, it was he who was always attacked not the other way around His adversaries pressured and even forced the Emperor to employ his unequalled military genius After each of his memorable victories Napoleon offered concessions, often extravagant ones, to the defeated enemy for the sole purpose of avoiding another war Lavishly illustrated, persuasively argued, and carefully illustrated with original maps and battle diagrams, The Wars Against Napoleon presents a courageous and uniquely accurate historical idea that will surely arouse vigorous debate within the international historical communityVIEWS Weider and Franceschi s outstanding new must read book shatters the myth of the so called Napoleonic Wars and compels a long overdue reevaluation of the image of Napoleon as simply a war loving conqueror Jerry D Morelock, PhD, ARMCHAIR GENERAL Editor in Chief May 2008 issue the authors argue strongly, persuasively, and intellectually for what is, essentially, the other side of the usual story They will surely provoke debate within the historical community wherever there is interest in this period Recommended for all libraries adding to their Napoleonic collections D Poremba, Library Journal, 01 2008 supported with maps and diagrams, this courageous book is a very intriguing read Skirmish Magazine 04 08

One thought on “The Wars Against Napoleon: Debunking the Myth of the Napoleonic Wars”

  1. THE WARS AGAINST NAPOLEON : DEBUNKING THE MYTH OF THE NAPOLEONIC WARSBy Ben Weider and General Michel Franceschi (2008)The greatest threat to peace in Europe in the early Nineteenth Century was the British Cabinet. With its millions in subsidies it fought a mainly proxy war against France before Napoleon, and France under Napoleon. It was other countries that basically did the dying for British ends. England had been fighting France for decades and, still smarting under the loss of the American [...]

  2. I realize that there are two sides to every story; especially when it comes to history. But, come on. Really? Napoleon was never to blame for anything? Seriously? I can't decide which part I liked the beste part that explained his strategy in war - being such a pacifist his goal was to eradicate his enemies Army to force them into peace negotiationsor maybe it was the part about how he killed all prisoners of war so he didn't have to feed them, but was really doing them a favor by putting them o [...]

  3. I really liked this book. Althought it does get lost in adoration occasionally, it clearly shows that basically all of the wars he fougth as consul and emperor were forced upon Napoleon. It doesn't hide his mistakes, such as 'spanish cancer' but also points out all the factors that were at play, from both sides.

  4. My rating of a 4 is not quite accurate, for the prose is bad and the argument fails to appreciate Napoleon's less savory actions. Yet, I agree with the overall thesis. The monarchs of Europe wanted war more than Napoleon did, driven by the desire to weaken France and snuff out any trace of the French Revolution. The book though did not explain Napoleon's own later failures nor his willingness to trust the sword too readily. It was less that Napoleon was a true warmonger and more that he relied o [...]

  5. History typically is written by the winners, so it's no surprise that Napolean's triumphant foes would portray him as having no redeeming qualities whatsoever.The author in this book goes to the polar opposite view: Napoleon was a saintly ruler without an ignoble motive or bone in his body. I would not have been at all surprised if at any point in the book, he was compared to Jesus. The truth is probably (as usual) somewhere between the 2 extremes. The author seems to feel that this is a groundb [...]

  6. An erratic rant more than a myth buster.That the authors were passionate about their topic cannot be denied. Unfortunately the book jumps randomly from one event to another, leaping a dozen years forward then back then forward again. Napoleon is attributed actions and feelings for which the authors provide no proof. "He would have pardoned the Duke". Well he didn't. The Duke was killed. We must take the authors' statement that Napoleon would have pardoned him as fact. No proof is provided that N [...]

  7. Do not read this book if you're looking for a a scholarly or academic analysis of the Napoleonic wars. This book was clearly written by two ardent admirers of Napoleon and is replete with epithets and superlatives that make it almost unreadable. The whole purpose is to exonerate Napoleon and acquit him from any guilt during the Napoleonic Wars. ANY.Additionally, the book contains factual errors, such as the assertion that Napoleon was murdered by poison, an assertion that has been proven to be f [...]

  8. Interesting take on Napoleon by renowned apologist(and unfortunately the late)Ben Weider in conjunction with Michel Franceschi (now where have I heard that name before?!)This is a deliberate shot across the bows of the Emperor's vehement detractors, and worth reading for that fact alone. Whether you believe Bonaparte was a saint - as the authors do - or sinner - as most British historians seem to - or whether you steer a middle course, as I do, the book offers a glimpse into Napoleon's thinking [...]

  9. Strong elaboration and telling of errors made in campaigning, as well as tactical errors that would ultimatley allow some of Napoleon's adversaries who's armies weren't as strong or hoed the weapons and technology that would allow him to conquer. A good telling though dry in some parts that would end with the mistakes of Waterloo.

  10. A bit too one sidedI'm a Napoleonaphile , but the writers went way beyond in their homage to the little corporeal. The history could have been compelling but their devotion and worship of the Emperor sapped any credibility. The excerpts from Napoleon's writings were quite illuminating.

  11. An excellent book for those seeking ti understand the society from which Napoleon grew and fought, as well as that of the victorious (re?)writers of history).

  12. This book is extremely biased (and is not embarassed about it) that it reads like tabloid at times. Otherwise, it provides an interesting French perspective on Napoleon.

  13. "WARS AGAINST NAPOLEON, THE: Debunking the Myth of the Napoleonic Wars by General Michel Franceschi (2007)"

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