Napoleon: A Symbol for an Age
First Edition   ©2008

Napoleon: A Symbol for an Age

A Brief History with Documents

Rafe Blaufarb , Claudia Liebeskind

  • ISBN-10: 0-312-43110-4; ISBN-13: 978-0-312-43110-5; Format: Paper Text, 256 pages

By calming revolutionary turbulence while preserving fundamental gains of 1789, Napoleon Bonaparte laid the foundations of modern France. But his impact reached beyond France’s borders as well. His legacy of war, civil rights, exploitation, and national awakening reshaped identities across the European continent, while in the Atlantic world he destroyed the colonial order and helped plant the seeds of American power. In this collection of wide-ranging primary sources — including confidential memoranda and correspondence, speeches, memoirs, letters, police reports, and songs, most of which appear in English translation for the first time — Rafe Blaufarb situates Napoleon within his time while opening a broad perspective on the nature and impact of Napoleonic rule. His introduction provides a narrative of Napoleon’s rise and fall and frames the key issues of Napoleon’s life and times. Useful pedagogical tools include maps, illustrations, a chronology, questions for consideration, and a selected bibliography.
"Blaufarb’s inspired selection of documents will prove highly beneficial to teachers hoping to engage students in a discussion of important themes ranging from the birth of nationalism to the impact of total war. The documents shed light on the significance of Napoleonic rule not only in France but also in Europe and the wider world."

— Anthony Crubaugh, Illinois State University