Nigel Jones

The luck of the devil

Adam Zamoyski scrapes away layers of lies and exaggeration to reveal Bonaparte in his true, unvarnished colours

Who says that the ‘great man’ theory of history is dead? Following hard on the heels of Andrew Roberts’s magnificent biography of Churchill comes this equally well-written life of another superman who bestrode his era and all Europe like a colossus.

Although Adam Zamoyski is at pains to insist that his subject was an ordinary mortal like any other, the simple facts of Bonaparte’s career somewhat belie any attempt to cut the little fellow down to size.

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