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First I was intrigued in Napoleon the conquering icon. Then I grew fascinated with Napoleon the flawed human being.
The result is a new nonfiction book, “Napoleon’s Rules: Life and Career Lessons from Bonaparte.”
The book grew out of my research for my Ethan Gage adventure novels. Ethan is an American embroiled in the Napoleonic period, and Napoleon is the blazing sun around which characters and plot revolve.
Unlike other Napoleon books, “Rules” is about YOU. Bonaparte’s dizzying ascent and plunging fall – and his many pronouncements about life – are mined for advice, or rather fifteen “rules,” each a chapter that explores an aspect of the emperor’s success or failure.
The book is deliberately provocative, brisk, and concise, about 150 pages. Included is a timeline of Bonaparte’s life and suggestions for further reading.
Napoleon had an amazing life that draws us in because he is so humanly recognizable. He was extraordinarily brilliant, frenetically ambitious, and emotionally dissatisfied.
The Corsican kid rose from nothing, always speaking French with an accent, and yet came close to mastering the world. He also didn’t know when to quit, overreached in Russia, and ultimately was crushed.
The Greeks would call it hubris and fate. Spectacular rise and fall always fascinates […]
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My wife and I dipped our toe into the beauty and mystery of southeast Asia recently, and encountered such a mix of modern and ancient, of the serene and the horrific, that the region floats in the mind like the rafts of hyacinth floating down the Mekong River.
I was fortunate to miss the Vietnam War (high draft lottery number) and my personal images of that place and time had come from news broadcasts and Hollywood. Now, half a century after the first American combat troops landed, we found the region has transformed at a frenetic pace – but past conflicts cast a long shadow.
Museums in Singapore and Hong Kong had major exhibits on the unforgotten horrors of Japanese Occupation in World War II. Our Vietnam guides had typically lost fathers, uncles, or grandfathers in their war. And our Cambodian guide, Arun, was a survivor of the murderous Khmer Rouge regime in the late 1970s. His father was executed by the communists, his mother sent to work in the rice fields and he, as a baby, was put in the care of an old woman too weak to hoe rice. Of thirty babies put in her care, twenty-eight died. The […]