Book Review: Napoleon by Andrew Roberts

The author’s astute understanding of the material has provided the book with a fresh take on a man that so much has been written about. Mr. Robert’s understanding of the times and personalities helped him convey that information in a clear, concise manner which kept this book relatively short (considering Napoleon’s notoriety and achievements).

Book Review: Memory of Flames by Armand Cabasson
5 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / November 5, 2014

The author sets the stage early, Lt. Col. Quentin Margont, the pragmatist protagonist, sees the world in black and white, the political weasel Talleyrand who only sees shades of grey and dances political circles Napoleon’s brother, Joseph, whose ego gets in the way of him seeing reality.

Thoughts on: War & Peace: Book 4 Part 2
Fiction , Historical Fiction , Latest Posts / March 30, 2013

About: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy is a fictional book first published in 1869. The work is regarded as one of the most important works of world literature. The copy I read was translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude. 1350 pages Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; New edition ISBN: 0199232768 Great price on this book in paper or elec­tronic for­mat More books by Leo Tolstoy Thoughts: This part of the book takes a larger view of the French retreat. Tolstoy does not understand how historians refer to Napoleon as “great” as he does not live up to the standards of humanity and goodness, neither as a military commander, emperor, leader or even in exile. As a conqueror / enemy / ally Napoleon constantly mislead the Russians and destroyed their economy. When he gives the order for the French to retreat, Napoleon already made sure he’s the first one to withdraw. Tolstoy writes about Pierre, now a prisoner of war who experiences happiness for the first time in his life, not because he has everything but because he lives the simple life. Here I agree with Tolstoy’s analysis but not his reasoning. I believe that unhappiness is caused by too…

Thoughts on: War & Peace Book 4 — Part 1

About: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy is a fictional book first published in 1869. The work is regarded as one of the most important works of world literature. The copy I read was translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude. 1350 pages Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; New edition ISBN: 0199232768 Great price on this book in paper or elec­tronic for­mat More books by Leo Tolstoy Thoughts: Once more Tolstoy shows his disdain for Russia’s upper class. Even with the invasion going on, the capital battered and people suffering Russia’s elite society still lives as if their gatherings are of utmost importance. Tolstoy goes into Pierre’s state of mind after he his witnessed senseless executions. This time it’s  his soul and his faith are the ones that has been ripped apart and lost all meaning. Pierre loses his faith in G-d and humanity. Platon Karatayev is introduced. He is a kind, good hearted and simple peasant who befriends his fellow prisoner Pierre. Even though Platon is of a lower class than Pierre, Tolstoy elevates him to be a better, wiser person. With his simple goodness Platon shows Pierre the wisdom of the lower classes as opposed to lectures from the upper class. Tolstoy again employs some very philosophical measures by…

Thoughts on: War & Peace: Book 3 Part 3
Fiction , Historical Fiction , Latest Posts / December 29, 2012

About: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy is a fictional book first published in 1869. The work is regarded as one of the most important works of world literature. The copy I read was translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude. 1350 pages Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; New edition ISBN: 0199232768 Great price on this book in paper or elec­tronic for­mat* More books by Leo Tolstoy Thoughts: Tolstoy has some interesting observations in this part of the book. The author compares time to math, when we look at small units we really don’t understand what we’re seeing, but when we put all the small movements together (and within context) is when are small brains can process change. Historical events are the same, only when you have an understanding of World War I can you understand what brought about World War II and an attempt to simplify the causes (for example: the rise of the Nazi party) does not work. The most outstanding part of this book, I thought, was the point of view of the wounded Andrei, seeing his world through the fog of war and the haze of wounds. As omnipotent readers, we know the circumstances and the story,…

Thoughts on: War & Peace: Book 3 Part 2
Fiction , Historical Fiction , Latest Posts / November 5, 2012

About: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy is a fictional book first published in 1869. The work is regarded as one of the most important works of world literature. The copy I read was translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude. 1350 pages Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; New edition ISBN: 0199232768 Great price on this book in paper or elec­tronic for­mat More books by Leo Tolstoy Thoughts: This part of the book was long. Granted, the whole book is a beast, but this part could easily be a book by itself. Tolstoy really out does himself here, there are sections which gives the reader an overview of historical events and societies, down to very personal scenes between individuals. The climax of this part, the Battle of Borodino, is fantastic and could, by itself, make a great story. In this book we discover something else about Tolstoy – he doesn’t like Germans. Again, Tolstoy goes in an unexpected route and writes in a direction and view point which is unexpected and extremely sad. In this section the reader goes into the unstable mind of Old Prince Bolkonsky, an extraordinary perspective of an unsteady view point. The mind cannot settle on anything…

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