David Markham’s Napoleon for Dummies is an excellent introduction to anybody interested in Napoleon and his age. The author, a prolific Napoleonic scholar and the president of the International Napoleonic Society, has produced a very accessible and engaging work. Markham describes very clearly the important topics and events of the Napoleonic years including, Napoleon’s youth, his rise to power, the numerous wars and military campaigns, the treaties and geo-political changes in Europe, the
Napoleonic Empire, his reforms in France, Napoleon’s Jewish policies, and the fall and final years of the French Emperor. Moreover, the book presents the important personalities, both Napoleon’s allies and enemies, who played a significant role in the developments of those years. Markham provides a clear picture of the significance and the legacy of Napoleon. The last three chapters of the book provide the reader with useful and practical information: “Ten Interesting Battlefields to visit”
(Chapter 24), “Ten Pieces of Advice for Napoleon” (25), “Ten Best Sources for Further Information”(26). The text is accompanied with numerous pictures and closes with two maps of Napoleonic Europe, a helpful time-line, and an index. In sum, it is a very good addition to the “Dummies” series and I recommend it to all students of the Napoleonic period.
Alex Grab, PhD