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Napoleon and Hitler: A Comparative Biography

Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler were two of history’s greatest dictators. In this ground-breaking study, Desmond Seward finds striking parallels between their careers and their roles in shaping the destiny of modern Europe. He also shows how Carl von Clausewitz’s classic treatise On War – a penetrating analysis of the Napoleonic campaigns read and re-read by Hitler– provides a crucial link between the two men.

Napoleon and Hitler demonstrates in an entirely new way how history can repeat itself – and gives new and unexpected insights into these two terrible giants of modern times.


“A careful study, clearly written, easy to read. He takes us through the careers of both men in turn, side by side, noting the similarities as he goes along. I am reminded of Plutarch’s “parallel lives” of the great Greeks and Romans … His interesting book deserves to be read both by those who would “demonise” Hitler and those who are dazzled by Napoleon.”

Hugh Trevor-Roper, Sunday Telegraph

‘Desmond Seward is right to draw attention to their similarities, and to their differences. We should study both: both are among the possibilities inherent in our civilisation.’


‘Solid historical biography with a compelling historical slant.’


‘A clever and cohesive look at megalomnia in action.’

Kirkus Review

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