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

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Napoleon's soldiers marched across Europe from Lisbon to Moscow, and from Germany to Dalmatia. Many of the men, mostly conscripted by ballot, had never before been beyond their native village. What did they make of the extraordinary experiences, fighting battles thousands of miles from home, foraging for provisions or garrisoning towns in hostile countries? What was it like to be a soldier in the revolutionary and imperial armies? We know more about these men and their reactions to war than about the soldiers of any previous army in history, not just from offical sources but also from the large number of personal letters they wrote. Napoleon's Men provides a direct into the experiences and emotions of soldiers who risked their lives at Austerlitz, Wagram and Borodino. Not surprisingly, their minds often dwelt as much on what was happening at hime, and on mundane questions of food and drink as on Napoloen himself or the glory of France. Alan Forrest is Professor of Modern History at the University of York.Among his recent books are Paris, the Princes and the French Revolution (Arnold, 2004) and (co-authored with Jean-Paul Bertaud and Annie Jourdan), Napoleon, le monde et les Anglais (Paris, Autrement, 2004)