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Gazzola07 Jun 2013 3:51 a.m. PST

Chouan

Those who do not admire Napoleon, in any way, will obviously like Barnett's book. They will have been fooled by the author's selling tactic of offering a completely negative viewpoint.

You seem to see it as a good book, while others see it as a bad book. That's life. But it is a shame that you can't think like that when considering Cornwall's Sharpe novels, which you, because you, the expert, as you claimed in the media thread, THINK they are bad, they must be bad. In the same way, you obviously THINK Barnett's book is good, so it must be good.

Just accept that some think it is a bad book, in the same way that some think Cronin's book is a good one, and move on. If you can. The way you THINK and your OPINIONS are not going to change history

Chouan07 Jun 2013 4:26 a.m. PST

But the point is that Brechtel198 argued that it was in error and was poorly researched, but has been unable to prove this.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2013 4:44 a.m. PST

The point is the book is badly sourced and researched and the errors pointed out can be supported.

On the other hand, instead of the arguments that you have put in the discussions here, you might actually attempt to source them and put a comprehensive argument forward, something which you have failed to do. I suppose it interfered with your lunch break.

The bottom line is that Barnett's book is poor and belongs to that half of Napoleonic scholarship that 'is a waste of good paper and printer's ink' as was once stated by a prominent Napoleonic historian.

I believe that all books on any subject so that the wheat so to speak can be separated from the chaff, and Barnett's book on Napoleon is definitely chaff and cannot be used as a reference, no matter who good his other work is.

On that subject, I have a lot of respect from Alistair Horne as an author and historian, but his How Far From Austerlitz is terrible and is in the same category as Barnett's Bonaparte. Those two haven't done well in the Napoleonic period.

B

Whirlwind07 Jun 2013 6:10 a.m. PST

The only chaff around here is Kevin's list of his 'opinions'.

Gazzola07 Jun 2013 6:29 a.m. PST

Whirlwind

As opposed to 'your' opinions and Chouans biased 'expert' opinions.

TelesticWarrior07 Jun 2013 6:31 a.m. PST

Whirlwind,
Would that be the same list that you refuse to deconstruct? Perhaps you would like to venture forth some actual content this time instead of giving more unsupported opinions?

Whirlwind07 Jun 2013 6:47 a.m. PST

@Gazzola,

I think I have expressed one opinion on one of these threads, which is that on balance on one question I agree with Kevin: Napoleon may not 'really' have been Jacobin, I think he may have been pretending to get on/by.

Other than that, all I have tried to do is show Kevin where he is mistaking objective fact for his personal opinion on his list. I hope that has been of some little service.

Would that be the same list that you refuse to deconstruct? Perhaps you would like to venture forth some actual content this time instead of giving more unsupported opinions?

The unsupported opinions are Kevin's – and Chouan has already very kindly deconstructed them. All I would like is for people to stop pretending opinions are facts.

Look, if Kevin wanted to start a discussion on, say, the Naval boards to say that he thinks USN Officers in WW2 were clearly far superior to RN Officers in the Napoleonic Wars, then all power to him. But he hasn't done that. He has presented his opinion as a fact, to try to use as a stick to try and beat an historian with which he disagrees, and I don't think that is a particularly good thing.

Regards

Chouan07 Jun 2013 7:11 a.m. PST

"The point is the book is badly sourced and researched and the errors pointed out can be supported."

In your opinion. The sources are sound, as has been pointed out to you elsewhere. What you don't appear to like is that the interpretation he presents differs to yours. You have only pointed out 4 minor errors, none of which are "errors of principal" to use "Second Mate Foreign Going" jargon, but are merely "clerical errors", errors that don't effect the argument. Only 4 out of 75 "errors" listed, the rest are just differences in interpretation.

"On the other hand, instead of the arguments that you have put in the discussions here, you might actually attempt to source them and put a comprehensive argument forward, something which you have failed to do. I suppose it interfered with your lunch break."

Source what? I have, I believe, argued comprehensively that Barnett isn't "wrong", just that you don't agree with his conclusions. Your opinion differs. Why should I need to source that?

"The bottom line is that Barnett's book is poor and belongs to that half of Napoleonic scholarship that 'is a waste of good paper and printer's ink' as was once stated by a prominent Napoleonic historian."

Your opinion, nothing more.

"I believe that all books on any subject so that the wheat so to speak can be separated from the chaff, and Barnett's book on Napoleon is definitely chaff and cannot be used as a reference, no matter who good his other work is."

Good for you, but it is still merely your opinion, you still haven't proved that he is wrong in principal.

"On that subject, I have a lot of respect from Alistair Horne as an author and historian……."

I assume that's a typo, the sentence is a bit pretentious otherwise.

TelesticWarrior07 Jun 2013 11:11 a.m. PST

Whirlwind,

The unsupported opinions are Kevin's – and Chouan has already very kindly deconstructed them. All I would like is for people to stop pretending opinions are facts.

Really? You think Chouan has deconstructed Kevin's list of approximately 70 different items? Really? So far all I have seen him do his debate Kevin on Napoleon being a 'fervent Jacobin' and even you in your last post said you agreed with Kevin that "Napoleon may not 'really' have been Jacobin, I think he may have been pretending to get on/by."

BTW the way I agree with you that people to stop pretending opinions are facts. You make a good point here.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2013 11:16 a.m. PST

"On that subject, I have a lot of respect from Alistair Horne as an author and historian……."

'I assume that's a typo, the sentence is a bit pretentious otherwise.'

Yes, that's a typo-it should read 'for' not 'from'-my apologies.

B

Whirlwind07 Jun 2013 12:06 p.m. PST

Really? You think Chouan has deconstructed Kevin's list of approximately 70 different items? Really?

Yes he went through most of the list and showed where Kevin had accidentally thought that his differences with Barnett were ones of fact, where they were only ones of opinion.

Regards

basileus6607 Jun 2013 1:00 p.m. PST

Yes he went through most of the list and showed where Kevin had accidentally thought that his differences with Barnett were ones of fact, where they were only ones of opinion.

Sorry, but to affirm, as Chouan does in his reply, that something is "different opinion" doesn't make it a true statement.

I'll try to explain it.

For example, if you say that Napoleon decided to intervene in the Spanish affairs because he feared that Spain was about to sign a separate peace with Great Britain, and looking at the same evidence I affirm that his principal drive to intervene in Spain was that he perceived an opportunity to get rid off the last branch of the Bourbons still reigning in Europe, we would have a difference of opinion; because what we would be doing is interpreting the same evidence in different ways.

(As an aside, probably both statements are true… or at least, available evidence points that both forces acted upon Napoleon's decision to intervene).

However, if I say that Napoleon was a madman, hungry for power, driven by an insatiable thirst for conquest, and that like Hitler would did one hundred and thirty years later, he believed he had the right of invading whatever country he fancied, and then you would ask: where are your evidence? Then there wouldn't be a difference of opinion, but a legitimate question: either I provide the evidence that shows that Napoleon had "an insatiable thirst for conquest" and that he was a short of proto-Hitler, or I better shut up and recognize that I overshot.

That's the difference between real historians and populist writers without a proper grasp of what means to work with sources.

Whirlwind07 Jun 2013 1:18 p.m. PST

However, if I say that Napoleon was a madman, hungry for power, driven by an insatiable thirst for conquest, and that like Hitler would did one hundred and thirty years later, he believed he had the right of invading whatever country he fancied, and then you would ask: where are your evidence? Then there wouldn't be a difference of opinion, but a legitimate question: either I provide the evidence that shows that Napoleon had "an insatiable thirst for conquest" and that he was a short of proto-Hitler, or I better shut up and recognize that I overshot.

I don't think I would disagree with any of that. But that applies to Kevin's initial statements as much as, or more than, Chouan's replies.

I'll try to explain.

Barnett writes a book. Kevin doesn't like it. He puts up a 'review' citing inaccuracies. The way he does this is to take some sentences out of context and complain about 'inaccuracy' or 'unsourced'. Of course, these complaints themselves are context-less and unsourced, or sourced from a secondary or tertiary source whose accuracy is only vouched for by Kevin. so Chouan goes, this is just opinion.

Kevin is entitled to an opinion on anything he wants and if he wants to post them on a discussion site, cool. But, as I keep on saying, I am not going to assume uncritically that Kiley is right and Barnett is wrong unless someone puts in the work and explains, in detail, why he thinks Barnett is wrong. And this is just not happening.

Regards

TelesticWarrior07 Jun 2013 2:06 p.m. PST

Those who do not admire Napoleon, in any way, will obviously like Barnett's book. They will have been fooled by the author's selling tactic of offering a completely negative viewpoint.
Well said Gazzola, I think this sentence is the key to understanding this entire Corelli Barnett debate which has now spread out on to 6 different threads by my count.

Whirlwind07 Jun 2013 2:10 p.m. PST

I quite like Barnett's book and I admire Napoleon in many ways.

Regards

Gazzola08 Jun 2013 4:45 a.m. PST

TelesticWarrior

Barnett is just one man with one viewpoint. It is unusual however, for an historian to basically write everything with such an negative angle, as if the author could not bear to accept anything positive about the great man. Then again, it is a small book.

And if some people want to believe that one man can explain and describe Napoleon, his life, what he achieved and his unique place in history, in such a small book, if not a larger one, then they are fooling themselves. I prefer to compare Barnett's view of Napoleon with that of others who have written about Napoleon, and there are quite a few of them, as we all know. Possibly no other historical character has had so many books written about him and still being written about him, 200 years later! And all this for a man who made history for such a short period. Amazing isn't it? He clearly earned his place in history as one of the greats, alongside Caesar and Alexander the Great and I'm sure he would be pleased with that.

And in terms of people trying to assume they know Napoleon better than others, I think the historian Philip J. Haythornthwaite summed it up best in the Postscript section of the book, Napoleon the Final Verdict (1998).

- At the very beginning of his book Napoleon: the Last Phase, Lord Roseberry posed the question, "Will there ever be an adequate life of Napoleon?" Prior to that date – his work was published some seventy-nine years after Napoleon's death – Roseberry believed that the period was not sufficiently distant for an objective conclusion to be reached. Others of his qualifications still remain valid: that so varied were Napoleon's talents and achievements that a comprehensive assessment would be to great a task for any one man, but would require experts in each field to assess his career as a general, statesman, administrator and legislator, and not least as a man.

Similarily, and after a vast increase in the literature since Roseberry's time, it is impossible to arrive at a conclusive 'final verdict'. As Napoleon in past generations, and even in his own time, gave rise to every conceivable assessment or shade of opinion, from the creator of a golden age of enlightenment and triumph to a ruthless and agressive tyranny, so he does to this day, and probably will in the future.

It may be expected that Napoleon will be as studied during the 200th anniversaries of the great events of his career as he has been to date, but a unanimous verdict will surely be as elusive as it has been in the past. Greatest of soldiers, charismatic leader, national icon, visionary architect of modern Europe, flawed genius undone by his own miscalculations and betrayed by those he had raised up, ruthless opportunist, tyrant: the opinions are as many as there are facets to his personality and abilities. Each individual who studies the man and his career can produce a 'final verdict' of his own, conclusions probably as diverse as those prevalent during his lifetime. The fact that such differences of assessment exists is itself testimony to the complexities of the man and emotions he engendered, and, surely, a mark of his unique place in history.' -

Today, people and even those who believe themselves to be 'experts', have their own opinions. However, we must remember that our opinions are based on the luxury of hindsight. WE know what happened and what choices should have possibly been taken instead. Great men like Napoleon did not have that luxury. And, unlike us, they were living the times and making history. Will any of us reach such heights of greatness? Have people talking and debating about us 200 years from now? Will any of us make history or have a section of history named after us? I doubt it. And in terms of viewpoints on Napoleon, I think it is a case of everyone taking their side and battling on for another 200 years! The great man is here forever.

Chouan08 Jun 2013 2:33 p.m. PST

"Those who do not admire Napoleon, in any way, will obviously like Barnett's book. They will have been fooled by the author's selling tactic of offering a completely negative viewpoint.
Well said Gazzola, I think this sentence is the key to understanding this entire Corelli Barnett debate which has now spread out on to 6 different threads by my count."

How will they have been fooled? There is nothing significantly wrong or false in what they're reading.

von Winterfeldt09 Jun 2013 12:06 a.m. PST

"Those who do not admire Napoleon, in any way, will obviously like Barnett's book. They will have been fooled by the author's selling tactic of offering a completely negative viewpoint."

By that kind of logic – one could also say :

Those who do admire Napoleon, in any way, will obviously like Cronin's book. They will have been fooled by the author's selling tactic of offering a completely positive viewpoint.

;-)).

Gazzola09 Jun 2013 9:47 a.m. PST

Chouan & von Winterfeldt

In YOUR OPINION, Barnett is okay. But that's JUST your opinions, which means very little to me.

But look at Barnett's 'Author's Foreword' when he states -'In venturing to add yet another to the stack the author has sought to examine anew both Bonaparte's personal character and his performance as a soldier and politician: he has….'

Note the terms 'the author' and 'he has', rather than I have have – not really good, is it, for a modern day author? Sounds like he's too full of himself, which may explain why some people like him.

Then look at Cronin's preface – 'I wanted, as I say, to find a Napoleon I could picture as a living man. I knew that…'

Note the terms 'I', in that he, the author is expressing why he was writing the book.

And come on, Barnett calls the 1796-97 Italian campaign 'a seductive folly' (page 43) This almost made me throw the book into the bin. Since when has winning a campaign been a folly? It makes me think the author should have stuck to his political and World War 1 & 2 books. His statement, if not his book, is the only folly. MY opinion, of course.

He then criticises Napoleon of having his army live by 'organised pillage', but then states straight after that actually Napoleon ordered the municipality of Mondivi to supply the army with food and drink. Obviously Napoleon should have let his men starve. Can you imagine what would have been said had he done that? Would Barnett (or anyone attending this website) have let his men starve should he have been a commander in the same situation?

Barnett also claims that 'Like Alvinzi after Acola, Melas accepted too readily the outcome of a single engagement when a prolonged struggle must have been ruinous to Bonaparte.' (page 78)

Really – 'must have' The author is stating he knows more than the Austrian commanders who fought in and lived through the period. Another folly.

With his book on Bonaparte, Barnett is basically out of his depth and in an area he is not used to, which appears, judging by his other titles, mainly political and modern day wars. I think he relies far too much with this title on the easy historians friend – hindsight, which, basically, anyone can do –and indeed do.

But if you like Barnett, so be it, that is your choice. I have both volumes and it is interesting sometimes, to compare what Barnett says in his small book, to that of others who have written about Napoleon. You do have to read the negative with the positive to get nearer to what may have been the truth. However, as stated in another post, people will keep writing about the great man because HE WAS a great man who achieved GREAT THINGS and MADE history. Barnett and other folly authors (my opinion) will, of course, be among them. But I doubt any one man will ever be able to write a 100% accurate book on Napoleon – ever. And likewise, opinions for and against Napoleon will also continue.

BullDog6909 Jun 2013 10:03 a.m. PST

Gazzola

You do realise that, in your comments about the different styles used in the forwards, all you are telling us that one wrote his in the 3rd person, and the other wrote his in the 1st person?

How does this in anyway prove that someone is 'full of himself'? I am actually struggling to see how it is relevant at all.

For many years, I worked for a large International company which insisted that all personnel assessment reports were done in the 3rd person – indeed, the program included a button one would press after typing in the info, and this 'converted' your text into the 3rd person – rather like running a spell check.

It never occurred to me that this stipulation made us sound 'full of ourselves'.

Gazzola10 Jun 2013 4:05 p.m. PST

BullDog69

We are talking about a preface, a foreword or an introduction by the author, in that the author/historian states THEY are writing the book and explains why THEY wrote it. As I already posted, Cronin states 'I wanted, as I say, to find…', McLynn states 'I have…', Lyon states 'My intention in this book…'

They are just examples of good authors who let the reader know that THEY are writing the book and why. Yet Barnett writes the preface as if he is not the author, as if someone else wrote it for him and he just put his name to it. He has distanced himself from basically himself. Why did he not write 'I have..' rather than 'he has…'? You can flower it up any way you like but it is very odd.

Arteis10 Jun 2013 10:26 p.m. PST

That is only your opinion that it is 'very odd'. I have seen the third person used (particularly in authors' introductions and end-notes) quite a lot. So my opinion is that while it is perhaps a little old-fashioned, it is hardly odd, let alone 'very' odd.

In wargaming, a particular exponent of the third person was Charles Grant. I've got his book on Fontenoy in my bookshelf, and on the very first page I opened (page 14), he says: "A not inconsiderable experience of such matters suggests to the writer that once a wargame is well under way …"

What in my opinion IS very odd is someone including an author's use of the third person as a reason for questioning their reliability.

Flecktarn10 Jun 2013 10:29 p.m. PST

The author referring to himself in the third person is a classic academic style; there is nothing odd about it at all. When I was writing my dissertations it was impressed upon me that the word "I" should never appear anywhere in them; it should always be "the author".

Arteis10 Jun 2013 10:42 p.m. PST

"In regard to the first person pronouns I or we, judicious use is widely accepted, especially to make the writing more active or to assume responsibility for assumptions or actions. Be forewarned, though, that despite its acceptance by most committees (and journals), an occasional committee remains opposed to use of the first person, even when that use is judicious."
link

If anything, use of the third person might point out that the writer comes from an academic background, which might indicate (assuming it indicates anything at all) a more academic approach.

Flecktarn11 Jun 2013 3:12 a.m. PST

I have managed to find the guidance notes from when I did my most recent dissertation and quote:

"The use of the third person is highly recommended when referring to oneself in the text."

BullDog6911 Jun 2013 4:14 a.m. PST

Gazzola

Re. use of the 3rd person.

I fail to see where I attempt to "flower it up any way" and note that you did not take a moment to explain why this is some sort of conclusive proof that the writer is 'full of himself'?

It is a completely normal style of writing academic works, so I have no idea why it has agitated you to such a degree.

Out of interest, I decided to check the forwards of the three reference books I have with me (I am up in Africa on business at this time). These are 'With Plumer in Matabeleland', 'The Hall Handbook of the Anglo-Boer War' and 'The '96 Rebellions'.
In all three cases, the forwards were written in the 3rd person.

Please can you urgently advise if I should therefore dismiss all the information contained in these tomes?

Gazzola11 Jun 2013 3:11 p.m. PST

BullDog69

I'm not asking you to urgently dismiss anything. What an absurd suggestion. I'm pointing it is odd, considering he does not employ it in other of his works, such as The Swordbears, The Audit of War, Marlborough and Desert Generals. In fact, in the preface of the reprint 2007 of Desert Generals he employs the following -'I, therefore wrote the….' and 'I wanted to….'

So no, I do not 'urgently advise you to dimiss the information' in the titles you mentioned, especially since I have no knowledge about them, but I would advise you to dismiss the obvious negative, baised and pure vitriol against Napoleon, his small book contains. His book gives the impression that he dislikes if not hates the subject he is writing about and probably would have prefered to write about Wellington. If only he had.

Gazzola11 Jun 2013 3:16 p.m. PST

Flecktarn

It is not in the text, it is the preface we are talking about. And it is not an academic assignment requiring the academic ruling or suggestions for a dissertation.

Arteis11 Jun 2013 10:33 p.m. PST

I'm pointing it is odd, considering he does not employ it in other of his works, such as The Swordbears, The Audit of War, Marlborough and Desert Generals. In fact, in the preface of the reprint 2007 of Desert Generals he employs the following -'I, therefore wrote the….' and 'I wanted to….'

So it is "odd" that someone employs the third person in the preface of one book, but not in his others? I'm afraid the idea of finding that odd seems … er … odd to me.

Sorry, I know I'm harping on here about something you might have just meant as a throw-away line. But I'm just so intrigued that someone could include grammatical style amongst the signs of an author's lack of worth.

BullDog6911 Jun 2013 11:22 p.m. PST

Gazzola

Yes – I agree it would indeed be 'absurd' to in anyway question information contained in a book because the author wrote his preface in the 3rd person.

So what exactly was the reason you brought this up in the first place?

Chouan12 Jun 2013 1:36 a.m. PST

Perhaps because the "errors" listed elsewhere turned out to not be errors actually, but merely differences of interpretation misconstrued by the reviewer as errors. In that where the reviewer didn't agree with Barnett's interpretation he described that as an error. So, if the errors aren't errors, then those who don't like Barnett's book will need to find something else to condemn it for. Hence the book isn't readable because of the style adopted by the author. It will probably be the author's face next.

Flecktarn12 Jun 2013 2:53 a.m. PST

Gazzola,
In an academic environment, the preface/foreword is part of the text. As the author is an academic, it is hardly surprising that he uses a common academic form.

This poster finds it quite hard to understand why you are apparently so desperate to use such a pointless point to deride Barnett's work; his overall canon is so widely open to criticism that to pick on a writing style seems both inappropriate and ill informed.

Peeler12 Jun 2013 8:37 a.m. PST

This poster, having read quite a few books over the years on the Napoleonic period, has concluded that the man Napoleon was a short overly aggressive expansionist tart.

And I have the same opinion myself too.

Flecktarn12 Jun 2013 10:06 a.m. PST

Tart? Now that does need supporting by some primary evidence!

Peeler12 Jun 2013 10:25 a.m. PST

:)

Gazzola13 Jun 2013 4:09 a.m. PST

Peeler

The British empire was full of overley aggressive expanionist tarts! As were other empires. Grow up!

Flecktarn13 Jun 2013 4:13 a.m. PST

Ah, but were they short?

Gazzola13 Jun 2013 4:19 a.m. PST

Flecktarn & Chouan

'desperate' Oh do grow up. By suggesting that you both have shOwn that it is you who needs to grow up.

And you don't need to highlight Barnett's odd preface to dismiss this completely biased book.

You just need to look at the language he employs when referring to Napoleon. It is so obvious!

But you both know all this, so let's not play games, eh? You like the book BECAUSE of its negative veiwpoint and attacks against Napoleon. I have several books on Napoleon, and some of them offer negative viewpoints but do contain positive viewpoints as well. Only one other has been as bad as Barnett's little book.

In my opinion, it is a bad example by an author/historian, whose main work seems to be on modern wars and politics and who seems no stranger to controversy.

Gazzola13 Jun 2013 4:21 a.m. PST

Flecktarn

So glad you did not disagree. Perhaps you could try doing some research to find the answer. You do know what research is, don't you?

Flecktarn13 Jun 2013 4:30 a.m. PST

Gazzola,

Only those who cannot make an argument resort to rudeness, as you have done.

Yes, I do know what research is; would you like me to explain it to you?

Where on earth do you get the idea that I like Barnett's book? What leap in the dark led you to that supposition? If that is the level of your reasoning, I can see why you resort to rudeness.

BullDog6913 Jun 2013 4:31 a.m. PST

Gazzola

I notice you are answering other posters, but have not responded to my questions. Please can you find a moment so to do?

Gazzola13 Jun 2013 4:54 a.m. PST

BullDog69

Ah, sorry to put others before you. I thought you'd be used to that by now.

I assume you are referring to my finding Barnett's preface odd? I didn't realise it was bugging you so much. Sorry about that.

I know about the convention of 1st and 3rd person angles, academic or otherwise. But he is a modern author and I wondered why he did not just simply write…I have…in the same way he did in the preface to the recent reprint of his Desert War?

You think it is okay – fine, that is your choice. I found it odd for a modern day writer – my choice. End of.

Anyway, sorry for the long wait – and I will consider putting you first in the queue next time. Can't promise anything mind.

BullDog6913 Jun 2013 5:02 a.m. PST

Gazzola

No – that wasn't my question, and I'm really not sure why you feel the need for all the little sarcastic remarks: I see no reason why you cannot simply reply politely.

I actually asked two questions which you have yet to answer:

1) Why do you feel that writing a forward in the 3rd person provides evidence that the author is 'full of himself'?

2) Why, given that you later admitted it would be 'absurd' to judge the content of a book based on the writing style used in the forward, did you seek to use it as a reason to show that Barnett's book is flawed? Or is valid to dismiss Barnett's book for this reason, and only 'absurd' to apply this standard to other books?

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP13 Jun 2013 5:25 a.m. PST

‘This poster, having read quite a few books over the years on the Napoleonic period, has concluded that the man Napoleon was a short overly aggressive expansionist tart. And I have the same opinion myself too.'

Two things:

First, all of the major powers were expanding empires during the period, not just France. It was European business as usual. A look at the results of the Congress of Vienna is a good example of what the national goals of Russia, Prussia, Great Britain and Austria were.

Second, regarding Napoleon's height, he was five feet two inches, French measurement. The French foot was three-quarters of an inch longer than the English foot. Too many authors don't bother or are ignorant of the difference, and so see the French measure and copy it as it is. If you bother to do the minor arithmetic computation, Napoleon is a little over five feet six inches, English measurement which was average height for the day. So, terming him ‘short' is incorrect.

B

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP13 Jun 2013 5:27 a.m. PST

Barnett's book is flawed, as it has been shown to be, because of myriad factual errors and a dearth of sourcing and references.

In fact, it appears to me to be nothing more than a continuation of allied and English propaganda of the period and because of those facts cannot be used as a proper reference.

B

Chouan13 Jun 2013 5:38 a.m. PST

"Barnett's book is flawed,"

In your opinion.

"as it has been shown to be, because of myriad factual errors and a dearth of sourcing and references."

Four minor errors out of the 75 that you listed. The rest are differences of interpretation, not errors, as has been repeatedly pointed out to you, as have his referencing. You have yet to prove that there are any significant errors. All you've proved is that you don't like his book, don't like his referencing and don't like his views. Nothing else has been "shown" to be wriong.

"In fact, it appears to me to be nothing more than a continuation of allied and English propaganda of the period"

Your opinion. no more, no less, which is of no more value than anybody else's.

"and because of those facts cannot be used as a proper reference."

Again, only your opinion; you've established or proved nothing so far. Therefore, you are only expressing your opinion, which is, as indicated above, of no particular significance or weight. Merely asserting your opinion proves nothing; asserting that Barnett is in error, without proving it, is similarly without merit or worth.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP13 Jun 2013 5:44 a.m. PST

The following excerpt, written by Owen Connelly, is from the excellent Napoleonic Military History A Bibliography edited by Don Horward, who is presently the Dean of Napoleonic scholars in the US.

The book was published in 1986 so it is not up to date with the new scholarship that has been written since then, but it is a noteworthy reference nonetheless, with section introductions by noted Napoleonic scholars, too many of them who are no longer with us.

'The best of the new French biographies on the life-and-times of Napoleon is Tulard. it shows the influence of the Annales School, and is moderately leftist. This puts it in contrast to the longtime French standard, Bainville, which is conservative. Among scholarly biographies in English, Markham, Thompson, and Chandler are recommended, though the older ones, such as Fisher and Rose should not be ignored. Among popular works, probably Cronin and Castelot are the leaders…'

Barnett's book is only in the book listings and is not commented upon. Connelly's mention of Cronin is noteworthy as his not mentioning Barnett…

B

Flecktarn13 Jun 2013 5:47 a.m. PST

I find it quite worrying that some people:

1. Seem to so completely lack a sense of humour

and

2. Become so aggressive and almost obsessive when discussing a Corsican dwarf who has been dead for nearly 200 years.

There are far more important things than fighting over the reputation of someone like Napoleon.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP13 Jun 2013 5:49 a.m. PST

'The only chaff around here is Kevin's list of his 'opinions'.'

However, I can back up my 'opinions' with fact from different reliable source material, so the criticism that I have for Barnett's opinions are from my own research into those areas.

Barnett's book is an anti-Napoleon diatribe which greatly lessens its value and ranks it as propaganda, not history.

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Chouan13 Jun 2013 5:50 a.m. PST

And your point is? Again, you've provided quotes from authors who you agree with, and who seem to agree with you. In what way do these opinions validate your case? Or prove that Barnett's work is flawed?
In any case, calling Cronin's work "popular" could be viewed as damning with faint praise.

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