Book Review: Napoleon's Men: The Soldiers of the Revolution and Empire


by Alan Forrest

New York/London: Continuum, 2006. Pp. xix, 248. Illus., notes, biblio., index. $34.95. ISBN:1852852690

A look at the lives and service of ordinary soldiers -- officers and enlisted -- in the French army from the Revolution through the fall of Napoleon, using letters, diaries, memoirs, newspaper reports, and similar works. 

The book opens with an overview of the nature of the French army in the period, and then provides a discussion of the degree of literacy in the ranks and the types of materials that soldiers produced.  There follow chapters giving soldiers'-eye view accounts of different aspects of the wars and military service.  In addition to battle, things like camp life, campaigning, family and social ties, and more are covered. 

A very useful book for those interested in the common soldier across the ages or in the era of the French wars.
Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

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