Author(s): Philip Dwyer
Napoleon Bonaparte's rise to power was neither inevitable nor smooth; it was full of mistakes, wrong turns and pitfalls. During his formative years, his identity was constantly shifting, his character ambiguous and his intentions often ill-defined. As a young and inexperienced general, he covered up his defeats and exaggerated his victories, never hesitating to blame others for his failures and failings. He was, however, highly ambitious, and it was this ruthless drive that advanced his career and his social status. This book examines the extraordinary evolution of Napoleon's character and the means by which at the age of thirty he became head of the most powerful country in Europe: from his Corsican origins to his French education, from his melancholy youth to his involvement in Corsican political faction-fighting during the Revolution, and from his flirtation with the radicals of the French Revolution to his first military campaigns in Italy and Egypt - and the political-military coup that brought him to power in 1799.
Philip Dwyer studied in Perth (Australia), Berlin and Paris, where he was a student of France's pre-eminent Napoleonic scholar, Jean Tulard. He has published widely on the Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras, andIs the editor of Napoleon and Europe, the author of Talleyrand, and has co-edited Napoleon and His Empire: Europe, 1804-1814. He is currently Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the University ofNewcastle, Australia, and is working on the second volume of his biography of Napoleon.Napoleon:The Path to Power, 1769-1799 is also shortlisted for The Prime Minister's Literary Awards.