Friday, 9 October 2009

Russia Against Napoleon: The Battle for Europe, 1807 to 1814

Taken from the book jacket
"This book tells the story of one of the most astonishing dramas in Europe's history. In the summer of 1812 after years of uneasy peace, Napoleon, the master of almost the whole continent, marched into Russia with the largest army ever assembled, confident that he would sweep everything before him. Less than two years later the Russian army was itself marching into Paris and Napoleon's empire lay in ruins.
Using an array of new, rare and surprising sources, Dominic Lieven writes with great panache and insight to describe from the Russians' viewpoint how they went from retreat, defeat and the burning of Moscow to becoming the new liberators of Europe.../...Much more than just battlefield history, Russia Against Napoleon is also the story of how Russia's home front was mobilised against Napoleon and how much the Russian people suffered in pursuit of victory. It is too the story of one of the most successful espionage operations in history. Ultimately this book shows, memorably and brilliantly, Russia embarking on its strange, central role in Europe's existence, as both threat and protector - a role that continues, in all its complexity, into our own lifetimes"

I am reading this surprising book. It offers a completely new and fresh vision of the history of the Napoleonic era narrated from the Russian side. The Tsar, the Russian army and its generals, the rank and file... , all of them appear now under a very different light than usual.
After reading the book, you will have to review your old and obsolete opinions about the performance of the Russian army in the Napoleonic era!

Tittle: Russia Against Napoleon
Author: Dominic Lieven
Publisher: Allen Lane, 2009

Read also the review of Professor Charles Esdaile

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