Austerlitz, Wagram, Borodino, Trafalgar, Leipzig, Waterloo: these are the places most closely associated with the era of the Napoleonic Wars. But how did this period of nearly continuous conflict affect the world beyond Europe? The immensity of the fighting waged by France against England,
Prussia, Austria, and Russia, and the immediate consequences of the tremors that spread throughout the world.
In this ambitious and far-ranging work, Alexander Mikaberidze argues that the Napoleonic Wars can only be fully understood in an international perspective. France struggled for dominance not only on the plains of Europe but also in the Americas, West and South Africa, Ottoman Empire, Iran, India,
Indonesia, the Philippines, Mediterranean Sea, and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Taking specific regions in turn, Mikaberidze discusses major political-military events around the world and situates geopolitical decision-making within its long- and short-term contexts. From the British expeditions
to Argentina and South Africa to the Franco-Russian maneuvering in the Ottoman Empire, the effects of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars would shape international affairs well into the next century. In Egypt, the wars led to the rise of Mehmed Ali and the emergence of a powerful state; in
North America, the period transformed and enlarged the newly established United States; and in South America, the Spanish colonial empire witnessed the start of national-liberation movements that ultimately ended imperial control.
Skillfully narrated and deeply researched, here at last is the global history of the period, one that expands our view of the Napoleonic Wars and their role in laying the foundations of the modern world.
"Engrossing and authoritative" -- Brendan Simms,
The Times Literary Supplement
"An outstanding book for anyone interested in the French Wars or ''Big History''." -- Albert Nofi,
"In this thousand-page tour de force, researched in over a dozen languages with 189 pages of notes, the exceptionally talented Georgian-American historian Alexander Mikaberidze, a professor at Louisiana State University Shreveport, revisits a foundational conflict in the modern world, the veritable ''world war'' unleashed by the French Revolution and dominated by the towering figure of Napoleon Bonaparte." -- Paul du Quenoy,
"Alexander Mikaberidze ...argues persuasively in
The Napoleonic Wars
: A Global History that the deepest and longest-lasting effects of the 23 years of fighting actually occurred outside Europe." -- Thomas Ricks,
The New York Times Review of Books
"an impressive reinterpretation of the wars of the French Revolution and Napoleon (1792-1815) ... An outstand book for anyone interested in the French Wars or "Big History"." -- A. A. Nofi,
"Far broader and deeper in scope than any previous history of the Napoleonic Wars, Alexander Mikaberidze has produced a true masterpiece. He proves conclusively how intimately interconnected the events of the great struggle were, not just in Europe, but also encompassing the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Iran, India, China and Japan. He rightly argues that as an agent for social change, the Napoleonic Wars were the most important thing to have taken place between the Reformation and World War I. With his mastery of the myriad sources in multiple languages, Mikaberidze reminds us what first-class scholarship can do with our perceptions of an important subject when allied to excellent writing. This book will be an instant modern classic." --Prof Andrew Roberts, author of
Churchill: Walking with Destiny
"An entirely rewarding history of a Europe-based struggle that "influenced the course of events across the globe."" --
, Starred Review
"Through his mastery of international bibliography (facilitated by his knowledge of several languages), his expertise in political, diplomatic and military affairs (though we did not expect anything else from the apprentice of Professor Donald D. Horward), the extent of the issues dealt with and problems revisited that go far beyond the simple narration of military conflicts and lead us, without Manichaeism, to the very heart of the issues, through his accessible writing style (clear enough even for a mediocre Anglophone to easily follow his story and reasoning) and, dare I to say it, his profound knowledge of historical events, Professor Mikaberidze confirms that he is one of the great Napoleonic scholars of today. No one will be able to study the Napoleonic episode without having at hand this global history which fills a gap in the English-language historiography." -- Thierry Lentz, Director of the Fondation Napol on
"Already distinctive thanks to his insights from the Russian perspective, Alexander Mikaberidze in this very important new book provides a valuable global perspective on Napoleon''s war-making. This approach provides both an instructive narrative and a perspective from which the impact and legacy of the period can be understood." --Jeremy Black, University of Exeter
"At long last we have the truly global history of the wars of 1789-1815 that we have long needed. This book gives us new perspectives to understand this critical turning point in world history. A must have for all students of the period." --Michael S. Neiberg, U.S. Army War College
"Alexander Mikaberidze believes that the twenty-three years of war from 1792 to 1815 - which the British were content to describe as the ''French wars'' - cannot be fully understood unless we extend our gaze beyond Europe, to consider colonial ambitions, revolutions and power struggles across the globe. The result is a hugely impressive work of scholarship that slips seamlessly across continents, taking the reader not just to the steppes of Russia, but to the Balkans and Iran, Japan and China, the Indian Ocean, Indonesia, the United States, South America and the Caribbean. This is global history at its most exhilarating, a history of the Napoleonic Wars for the twenty-first century." --Alan Forrest, University of York
"This important, groundbreaking book reveals (for the first time in a comprehensive overview) the global repercussions of the Napoleonic wars. A must read." --Peter Hicks, Fondation Napol on
"This is an extraordinary work of scholarship. Despite the book''s length, scope, and detail, the narrative never flags. It is hard to see how anyone will improve on this account." -- Lawrence D. Freedman, Foreign Affairs
"This book is a vivid, entirely engrossing history of that conflict, full of military shot and incident, full of choice quotes, full of vibrantly dramatic vignettes set in locations as far from Austerlitz as South America or EgyptEL. It firmly establishes a version of the Napoleonic Wars in which Bonaparte himself was in many ways merely the pebble that triggers the avalanche, and it provides unfailingly enjoyable reading along the way. It deserves to stand as the definitive one-volume treatment of the period." --Steve Donoghue, Open Letters
"This expansive work-the research and analysis, the breadth, depth, and detail of the narrative, presented in writing that will satisfy both popular and scholarly audiences-may very well be the last word that needs to be written on the subject." -- Michael V. Leggiere,
Alexander Mikaberidze is Professor of European History at Louisiana State University at Shreveport, where he is also Ruth Herring Noel Endowed Chair for the Curatorship of the James Smith Noel Collection. He is the author of several books, including
The Burning of Moscow: Napoleon''s Trial by Fire
The Battle of Borodino: Napoleon versus Kutuzov.