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The Mentor: Napoleon Bonaparte

Ida M. Tarbell

Book Overview: 

NOBODY who has lived in modern times has so stirred up the world as Napoleon Bonaparte. Nobody has upset so many old things, and started so many new ones. No man ever lived who had more faith in his own powers—and less respect for those of other men. Napoleon had, too, an unusual combination of those personal qualities which excite and interest men. It is nearly a hundred years since he dropped out of active life; but his story is more rather than less thrilling as time goes on.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Napoleon Bonaparte. Nobody has upset so many old things, and started so many new ones. No man ever lived who had more faith in his own powers—and less respect for those of other men. Napoleon had, too, an unusual combination of those personal qualities which excite and interest men. It is nearly a hundred years since he dropped out of active life; but his story is more rather than less thrilling as time goes on.

There was nothing in his birth or schooling or his first activities in life to lead one to expect an unusual career. His family was poor and servile; his father trading on his name and his acquaintances to feed, educate, and place his family. The most promising thing about young Bonaparte was his resentment of this servility and his own flat refusal to participate in it to help himself. Throughout his boyhood in the island of Corsica, where he was born in 1769, during the six years he spent at school in France and the eight years of intermittent mili. . . Read More