Napoleon Bonaparte

The Rise and Fall of Napoleon Bonaparte

Presented By
Jonathan Abel

Historians have referred to Napoleon as the Emperor of France, the God of War, and the father of modern Europe. Jonathan Abel, associate professor of military history at the Command and General Staff College in Ft. Leavenworth, sides with those who describe Napoleon as one of the most interesting people in modern history.

Popular culture seems to agree, too. Countless books and film adaptations have been made about Napoleon, most recently, Ridley Scott’s 2023 biopic titled Napoleon, which traced his rise to power as Emperor Napoleon I in the wake of the French Revolution – and then, after attempts to conquer Europe, his downfall.

In the penultimate installment of the Library’s Turning Points series with the CGSC, Abel discusses Napoleon’s life and career, highlighting several personal and public turning points in his life. For each turning point, he will illustrate the role of one or more individuals around or opposed to Napoleon who influenced each, including well-known figures like Tsar Aleksandr I and the Empress Josephine, and lesser-known people like Paul Barras and Antoine-Christophe Saliceti.

Abel is the author of several works on the 18th and 19th century French army, including War and Memory in the Napoleonic Wars. He teaches classes on wargaming and European, American, French, and Greek and Roman warfare, and earned his Ph.D. in European history at the Military History Center at the University of North Texas.


More in this series:
Sputnik and the Race to Control Space
Plaza Branch |
Napoleon Bonaparte

The Rise and Fall of Napoleon Bonaparte

Date & Location
Truman Forum Auditorium
In Person