Blackman on Zamoyski, 'Napoleon: A Life'
Adam Zamoyski. Napoleon: A Life. New York: Basic Books, 2018. Maps. 784 pp. $40.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-465-05593-7.
Reviewed by Robert Blackman
"Overall, Zamoyski gives us a picture of Napoleon as a somewhat ridiculous figure: small, funny-looking, rude, insecure, and occasionally bizarre. Zamoyski describes Napoleon as having a key character flaw: an unwillingness or inability to see the world as others saw it or to take into account the desires of others when making his decisions. Much attention is paid to Napoleon's romantic life as evidence of and a source of his personal insecurity....In the end, one is left thinking that it is truly remarkable Napoleon could conquer Europe given his many personal failings. Then again, given the low quality of his opponents and the unflattering portrayals of the leaders of Spain, Prussia, Russia, and Austria, one suspects that Napoleon did not need to be a great man..."