Last minute Christmas shopping for my brother. I’ve read nothing on the period so I have little idea of which books on the shelf are worth grabbing. General political or military tomes would interest him but something focused on Bonaparte would be fantastic.
Yep. Then Chandler is still “the man” for Napoleonic works. You’ve been given the best material in the business per most military history profs I’ve talked to (and I agree, so that means they’re right :)).
How readable is Chandler’s book? I’m thinking about picking it up for some Christmas break reading. I know it’s massive and the authority on the subject but how dry is it?
I’ve been listening to a series of podcasts, Napoleon 101 made by the guy who wrote Napoleon for Dummies and another guy(can’t remember his name). Really great series, and highly recommended. I think there are 30 or so episodes of about an hour a piece out that detail Napoleon’s life and accomplishments chronologically. Good for someone who knows relatively nothing such as myself.
I think it’s very readable. It’s informative and detailed without being overly academic, the book is well structured and Chandler’s writing is crisp and concise. At around 1200 pages, it’s certainly not light reading and I doubt you’d be able to get through it over the Christmas break but if you’re at all interested in the subject matter I have no hesistation recommending it.
reading it now, and entertaining even for the non napoleon battle geek. Plus there is also that classic ‘war and peace’. I made it two thirds of he way through. A very difficult read, but also fascinating.
The maps are one of the nice assets to the book; unfortunately a few of the battles use only period maps which can be hard to read and decipher, and serves as a startling contrast to most of the battles with the “modern” maps. However, that being said, the multi-chronology two-color maps can be nicely detailed and much better than previous works and most current ones (and the foldout of Nelson’s pursuit of the French fleet leading up to the Battle of the Nile is one of the most shamelessly copied maps I’ve ever seen).