At just thirty years of age, Napoleon Bonaparte ruled the most powerful country in Europe. But the journey that led him there was neither inevitable nor smooth. This authoritative biography focuses on the evolution of Napoleon as a leader and debunks many of the myths that are often repeated about him-sensational myths often propagated by Napoleon himself. Here, Philip Dwyer sheds new light on Napoleon's inner life-especially his darker side and his passions-to reveal a ruthless, manipulative, driven man whose character has been disguised by the public image he carefully fashioned to suit the purposes of his ambition. Dwyer focuses acutely on Napoleon's formative years, from his Corsican origins to his French education, from his melancholy youth to his flirtation with radicals of the French Revolution, from his first military campaigns in Italy and Egypt to the political-military coup that brought him to power in 1799. One of the first truly modern politicians, Napoleon was a master of spin, using the media to project an idealized image of himself. Dwyer's biography of the young Napoleon provides a fascinating new perspective on one of the great figures of modern history.