Adam Zamoyski's bestselling account of Napoleon's invasion of Russia and his catastrophic retreat from Moscow, events that had a profound effect on European history.
In 1812 the most powerful man in the world assembled the largest army in history and marched on Moscow with the intention of consolidating his dominion.…
Why read it?
2 authors picked 1812 as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 with a force of several hundred thousand soldiers was one of the greatest events in human history.
Its epic nature inspired Tolstoy’s War and Peace and has been the subject of countless nonfiction books. Adam Zamoyski does a fine job of telling an enjoyable story, while also accurately assessing the campaign.
Napoleon had been extremely confident—perhaps too confident—saying, “A shattering blow dealt at the heart of the empire on Moscow the great, Moscow the holy, will deliver to me in one instant that whole blind and helpless mass.” He was mistaken in his prediction.…
When I first read this book I found it unputdownable. It is a riveting account, based on a huge number of original sources and testimonies, of the watershed defeat of Napoleon’s career: his invasion of Russia, capture of Moscow, and the disastrous winter retreat that destroyed his army of half a million men. Its evocation of the accompanying horrors is often harrowing, but underlines one sobering and always relevant fact: the amount of human suffering the folly of one man can bring about.
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