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

Michel Franceschi, Author, Ben Weider, Author, Jonathan M. House, Translator . Savas Beatie $32.95 (227p) ISBN 978-1-932714-37-1

Franceschi, a retired French army officer and special historical consultant to the International Napoleonic Society (INS), and Weider (The Murder of Napoleon ), a businessman and founder of the INS, seek to recast Napoleon Bonaparte as a “peaceful creative genius”—even a “pacifist”—in this provocative apologia. The authors set out to debunk the “myth” that Napoleon's “inexhaustible ambition” was responsible for the eponymous wars that marked his rule in France. Rather, the authors argue, Napoleon was not only “the person least responsible” but also the victim of Revolutionary France's enemies. The authors' favorite villain is the “warmongering” British, but they also apportion blame among Prussia, Spain, Austria and Russia. Napoleon's only ambition was the “great work of reconstructing France,” and “the unchanging foundation” of his foreign policy was “the principle of preventing war.” They also excuse him for French battlefield losses and attribute the Waterloo defeat to “the most inopportune of thunderstorms.” Franceschi and Weider's one-sided, revisionist defense of Bonaparte as “a sensitive soul” with a “pacifist disposition” promises to be controversial. Illus. (Jan. 31)

Reviewed on: 12/03/2007
Release date: 01/01/2008
Hardcover - 227 pages - 978-1-932033-73-1
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