He felt he was an outsider in his own nation yet he took it to its greatest period of influence in history. But his ego and thirst for ever more power led to one of the most storied downfalls ever.
Napoleon Bonaparte stands in the company of men like Alexander as one of the greatest military commanders to ever live. As a ruler he brought France to unprecedented heights of glory only to see it unravel as a result of his arrogance. Few men have left a greater mark in history. BIOGRAPHY traces the life and legend of the Corsican commander through extensive research, countless historical documents and artifacts and the testimony of some of the world's most respected scholars. Examine his greatest military victories in detail then discover the errors that cost him even greater triumphs. Trace his rise to power and tragic decline, and explore the monumental legacy that continues to influence the world to this day.
From the island of Corsica to some of the most storied battlefields in Europe, BIOGRAPHY crosses the continent on the trail of one of history's towering figures.
The most fabled military leader of all time is chronicled in this episode of the A&E Biography series. Born to a Corsican family of shaky financial means, young Napoleon decided upon a military career as a child, winning a scholarship to a French military academy. His meteoric rise shocked not only France but all of Europe, and his military conquests threatened the stability of the world. Making copious use of contemporary drawings, paintings, and maps, and featuring interviews with military historians who specialize in studying Napoleon, the great commander is thoughtfully rendered as an enigmatic figure whose great military triumphs masked a deeply troubled personal life. His marriage to Josephine was tumultuous (and was at times the cause of his being the subject of ridicule), and his fanatical work habits, not to mention a legendary temper, made him a notoriously difficult personality. His insatiable appetite for glory and conquest led him to overcome most obstacles in his path, yet his supreme confidence in himself eventually led him to his defeat at Waterloo and his exile on a desolate island. This is a lively, informative, and entertaining look at one of the most influential figures in all of history. --Robert J. McNamara