Customer Review

Reviewed in Australia on 17 June 2015
The journey from Thatcherite lap dog now leaves us with a great hagiography. I can't understand why Roberts has elected to write this piece of overlong praise of Napoleon. rTomorrow the 18th of June is the 200th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo, the final defeat of Napoleon I by combined English and Prussian forces under the command of Arthur Wellesley ,Duke of Wellington in what is now Belgium. The historiography of Mr Bonaparte seems to swing between naïve adulation and bitter condemnation. Roberts is with the former. Bonaparte came from a family of Corsican bandits and behaved like one all his life, with a certain grandeur added to the mix as he secured more titles, armies, women, countries and bullion for himself and his ungrateful and equally obnoxious family. We are in the midst of an odd period where a number of historians are singing his praises as both general and statesman; notably the Thatcherite booster Andrew Roberts who has produced a new paean recently. What is his record? After railroading the late French Revolution, he caused massive devastation throughout Europe and Russia with millions of deaths. He attempted to conquer and resettle Europe with himself as dictator - being crowned Emperor, in mock Roman style, if ‘style’ is the word. All his strategic goals failed from Portugal to Moscow and across the high seas. His wars fought with some tactical skill achieved nothing lasting but death and destruction. He established a new legal code, far inferior to common law and subject to the sort of military adventurism with which he had lived his life. Our Friends the French still admire him and a trip to Les Invalides where he is buried in grandeur causes one to wonder at the sanity of the French. Finally at Waterloo, Europe was saved from the little tyrant by an army of Englishman described famously by Wellington as ‘the scum of the earth” and an army of Prussian professionals. Napoleon himself stated on the morning of the battle “I tell you Wellington is a bad general, the English are bad troops, and this affair is nothing more than eating breakfast". As we know this proved to be foolish. The French are hoping that there is not too much jingoism around the commerations. But for us, remembering Waterloo is to be welcomed. In history, only Hitler and Bonaparte threatened the liberties of Europe in such dangerous ways. avoid this work
5 people found this helpful
Report abuse Permalink