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Revolutionary or Tyrant?

To be ignorant of history is to remain always a child - Cicero
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Napoleon
by Paul Johnson
cover

an excellent biography


Napoleon: a Political Life
by Steven Englund

 cover

a more scholarly analysis

Napoleon has attracted much attention from historians and has become a hero to many over the years since he lived and ruled in France. To them he carried on the beneficial aspects of the French Revolution of 1789. Others see him as just another tyrant who betrayed the ideals of the revolution, suppressing elections and bringing back the monarchy and aristocracy. But everyone agrees that he was an extraordinary man who left a lasting imprint on the world in which he lived.

Napoleon's own statements were contradictory. He called himself a "son of the revolution" and the champion of its principles: liberty, equality and fraternity. But according to the Marquis de la Cases' Journals of the Private Life and Conversations of the Emperor Napoleon, toward the end of his life he said that "revolution is one of the greatest evils by which mankind can be visited."


Part of Napoleon: Hero or Tyrant? a HistoryWiz Exhibit

The French Revolution

The French Revolution and Napoleon Primary Sources

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