Memoirs of an Aide-de-Camp of Napoleon 1800-1812

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Memoirs of an Aide-de-Camp of Napoleon 1800-1812

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Editado: Abr 25, 2008, 4:24 pm

I just received Memoirs of an Aide-de-Camp of Napoleon 1800-1812 by General Count Philippe de Segur from the History Book Club. I've been planning on getting it for some time, but put it off for other purchases. I've always idolized Napoleon and his rise to power. Even his defeat seem admirable to me for some reason.

I was just wondering if anyone else out there has read this one, and if so, what did you think? How does it compare with other Napoleonic memoirs?

(It appears that Touchstones may not be working for this one)

Abr 26, 2008, 10:36 pm

It's about time we had a little action in this group. Thanks to you for writing in. I haven't read the memoir of Count de Segur, but it definitely sounds interesting. I will certainly keep it in mind.

I don't, however, share your admiration for Napoleon. To me, he was the Hitler of the 19th century. I'd be interested to know why you idolize him. I know he did some good things -- the Napoleonic code, etc., but think of how many innocent people died because of his militaristic ambitions and actions.

Abr 27, 2008, 8:56 pm

I suppose that my term "idolized" is not quite accurate when I speak of Napoleon. I guess it's more of an admiration and respect of his ambition, courage, and military genius. I apologize if I have offended anyone by implying that I think he was a great man. On the contrary, I think he did much to hurt France, and all of Europe. However, I think that his ambition came from a desire to strengthen his nation. I think that alone is fairly admirable. I also admire that he did (as you say, dwsact) implent his Civil Code. I think that many of his changes brought about the first steps to a modern Europe (though that can be argued as a bad thing in some cases). I believe he also implemented changes in education, but I'm not sure on that. Even his ideas of promoting his officers for their ability rather than their being members of the nobility was a new idea at the time.

However, I think his greatest legacy is that, even though he became an autocrat himself, he did much to end autocracy in Europe, and spread ideas of revolution against absolutism.

Unfortunately, dwsact, you are right about his having cost many lives, but many leaders have done that (though that does not make it right). I live in the U.S., and many lives were lost in our revolution against the British as well. Many lives are still being lost to ideas that our government wants to fight for...ideas that I do not agree with. I do not agree with the loss of life for ideas of vain glory, and ambition, but unfortunately, sometimes revolution and progress demand a heavy price. Perhaps Napoleon's reasons for war were a bit vain and egotistical, but I think they also came from a strong sense of patriotism that helped bring about national identities in much of Europe.