New York, rep., 1998. 322 pp., frontis., + 28 plates + 18 maps. D.j., 24 x 16cm. FINE. Keeping the reader close to the drama of the battlefield, the author gives a balanced account of Napoleon’s life, from his Corsican upbringing and his crowning victories at Ulm and Austerlitz to his ultimate defeat at Waterloo. He shows that Napoleon, though not an innovator in the art of war, was a genius at applying the lessons of military history. However, the vitality and determination that spurred Napoleon’s meteoric rise also fuelled an overweening hubris. Napoleon was unable to gain the affection of senior officers, and his desire to command the whole of Europe, given this lack of high-level support (and the failure of his brothers to live up to the family name), proved fatal to his plans. Illustrated with maps, portraits, prints, paintings and battlefield sketches.