The Making History Series is launched with an exciting retelling of one of the moments that shook the world -- Waterloo, one of the truly decisive battles of history. The illustrious Making History Series, edited by Lisa Jardine and Amanda Foreman, explores an eclectic mix of history's tipping points. Here, the most eminent of guest writers have been invited to present a subject closest to their heart, presenting the grand theatre of the past in a collection of inventive and provocative essays. The series awakens fresh interest in subjects long before us -- the decline of Aztec Empire, Waterloo, Nuremberg -- as well as uncovering the seemingly quiet moments of chance which turned subsequent events on their head. In Waterloo, Roberts provides not only a fizzing account of one of the most significant 48 hour periods of all time, but also a startling revaluation on the methodology of history -- is it possible to create an accurate picture from a single standpoint? What we can say for certain about the battle is that it ended forever the one of the great personal world-historical epics. The career of Napoleon was brought to a shuddering halt on the evening of 18th June 1815. Interwoven in the clear-cut narrative are exciting revelations brought to light by recent research: accident rather than design led to the crucial cavalry debacle that lost the battle. Amongst the all-too-human explanation for the blunder that cost Napoleon his throne, Roberts sets the political, strategic and historical scene, and finally shows why Waterloo was such an important historical punctuation mark. The generation after Waterloo saw the birth of the modern era: ghastly as the carnage here was, henceforth the wars of the future were fought with infinitely more ghastly methods of trenches, machine-guns, directed starvation, concentration camps, and aerial bombardment. By the time of the Great War, chivalry was utterly dead. The honour of bright uniform and tangible spirit of elan, espirit, eclat met their final dance at Waterloo.
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Andrew Roberts took a first in modern history from Caius College, Cambridge. He is a fellow of the Institute of Napoleonic Studies and has lectured on Napoleon in America, Canada and Britain. Along with Colonel John Hughes-Wilson of the Corps of Battlefield Guides, he conducts annual tours to Waterloo under the auspices of Tours with Experts. www.andrew-roberts.comFrom Booklist:
This summary narrative supplies basic data about Waterloo and evaluates mistakes by both Wellington and Napoleon that make the historic battle one of the most worked-over topics for speculation in military history. A Saturday Night Live skit once parodied the phenomenon by wondering, What if Napoleon had a B-52 at the Battle of Waterloo? Roberts' original contribution to historical contingency--for such an exhaustively studied battle, his research, amazingly enough, turned up new evidence--is that a cavalry charge by Marshal Ney, possibly the gravest error the French made during the battle, was a spontaneous assault rather than an intended one. Smoothly integrating the what-ifs into the chronology, Roberts joins the essential facts about Waterloo, such as its area and relief, to the morale of individual units involved. Emphasizing the courage and fear that rippled over the battlefield during its daylong course, Roberts instills an appreciation for Waterloo as a horrific experience saturated with alternative possible outcomes. A must for the military shelf. Gilbert Taylor
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110007190751