ONE HUNDRED DAYS
Europe, 1815: the Great Powers believed that they had at last successfully crushed the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Divested of his empire, exiled to the tiny island of Elba, the ex-conqueror had no army, no money, no ships - nothing but an empty title and his unflagging ambition. But his audacity admitted no defeat. Mustering a minuscule army of a thousand men, with few supplies, he sailed for France and set into motion the events that over the next one hundred days would propel a beleaguered Europe once again into total war, ending with the catastrophic battle of Waterloo, the routing of his Grand Army, and his second - and final - exile.
In One Hundred Days, Alan Schom shows us, in his lively, immediate narrative style, the inevitability of Napoleon's return from exile and his doomed bid for power. Landing unopposed on French soil, the emperor and his skeleton force began their march through a hostile countryside impoverished by years of war, famine, and conscription. Yet the charismatic leader managed to attract men and support: by the time they reached Paris with a force of 20,000, the Bourbon king Louis XVIII had abandoned the city, and Napoleon was greeted with parades and the shouts of citizens eager to align themselves with the stronger power. But war already loomed over his return. The Duke of Wellington and his Grand Allied Army, astonished and alarmed by Napoleon's rise from the ashes of exile, were already on the march and determined to quench him once and for all. The two armies met at Waterloo to fight the bitter three-day contest that would mark the end of Napoleon.
Alan Schom's One Hundred Days is a detailed chronicle of the events that led up to the final fall of Napoleon, and a complex and vivid portrait of the personalities that surrounded him: the icily charming and self-serving Talleyrand; the brutal, fickle police minister Fouche, who helped form the first modern police state; the brave but vacillating Ney; the dogged Davout, the emperor's scapegoat; and Napoleon's underestimated foes, Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, and the aging yet pugnacious Marshal Blucher. Meticulously reconstructed from diaries, memoirs, and correspondence, a host of lesser characters spring to vivid life, populating the grandiloquent stage of the Napoleonic empire.
More than an account of a watershed event in the evolution of modern Europe, One Hundred Days is a chronicle of an age, replete with intrigue, drama, and consequence. Believing that the epic of history is incomplete without providing the elementary human perspective responsible for shaping it, Alan Schom unveils a story rich in intimate detail: history with a human face and voice.
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Review: One Hundred Days: Napoleon's Road to WaterlooUser Review - Preston - Goodreads
I started this book hoping to read a factual account of Napoleon but instead found it to be very biased against Napoleon, not to mention the dozens of grammar mistakes that kept on popping up. It's ... Read full review
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