I have tried in the past to interest the forum in Gaudin, Napoleon's finance minister with no success. So, I was very, very pleased to come across this sentence in Gueniffey's "Bonaparte" English translation, "If we had to establish a hierarchy among the ministers, the first place would be Gaudin's,......". Personally, I would never have placed him above Fouche and Talleyrand but I was delighted to find someone who held Gaudin in high esteem.
It is a decent book; very well written and it has a biscuit-barrel of a bibliography but, my faith in the author was severely dented when i came across this sentence, "Bonaparte was not as ignorant in matters of finance and economics as has sometimes been said". Throughout many years of study into the Napoleonic era, I have come to the conclusion that Napoleon was an economic eejit of the first order and I am amazed that anyone could think differently. Gueniffey appends this footnote, "On Napoleon's economic ideas, see Lentz's very complete discussion in his "Nouvelle Histoire du Premier Empire, Vol3 pp416-442" Now, Thierry Lentz is one of my favourite authors on the period and I am sure that, if I buy volume three, I will end up purchasing volumes one, two and four as well. Please could someone save me a considerable amount of money by summarising why Lentz thinks Napoleon understood anything about economics..