Dual review of:
David A. Bell, Napoleon: A Concise Biography (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2015), 152 pp., $18.95.
Michael Broers, Napoleon: Soldier of Destiny (New York: Pegasus, 2015), 608 pp., $35.00.
'Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries they mostly fell, all too simplistically, into two camps: supporters and opponents,' writes the Princeton historian David A. Bell in his new book, Napoleon: A Concise Biography. 'Despite uncovering great masses of source material, most of the historical works generally spent too much time refighting old battles to provide much genuine illumination.'
'Napoleon had created the first explicit example of what came to be called the administrative monarchy, an authoritarian state held in check by a well-defined legal code,' writes Broers. 'Nothing was further removed from the concept of Divine Right, and it drove a theoretical wedge between the old and the new monarchies.'