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Description - Defeat by Philippe-Paul de Segur

Philippe-Paul de Segur was an aide-de-camp to Napoleon, privy to the councils of the emperor's inner circle. There he witnessed the debates surrounding the decision to invade Russia in the summer of 1812. The emperor's generals opposed the venture, and even Napoleon entered on it against his better judgment. Nonetheless, Napoleon found the undertaking too tempting to resist. Segur describes the subsequent campaign with a reporter's eye both for the big story and for the telling detail: we witness the march through the long hot days of the summer; the supply lines growing more stretched with every effortless victory; the Grande Armee suffering unanticipated losses; the taking and sacking of Moscow, and its abandonment; the disastrous winter retreat that destroyed Napoleon's army and insured his downfall. Segur's account is to this day one of the greatest military disasters of all time and a masterpiece of military history, providing a vivid and unmistakable lesson about imperial hubris and its risks.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781590172827
ISBN-10: 1590172825
Format: Paperback
(205mm x 130mm x 18mm)
Pages: 328
Imprint: NYRB Classics
Publisher: The New York Review of Books, Inc
Publish Date: 1-Sep-2008
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Philippe-Paul de Segur

Philippe-Paul de Segur (1780-1873) enlisted in the French cavalry in 1800 and served in many important campaigns and diplomatic missions with Napoleon. During his retirement he wrote the History of the Expedition to Russia Undertaken by the Emperor Napoleon in the Year 1812, which ran through many editions and was translated into several languages. Mark Danner has written about foreign affairs and American politics for more than two decades. He was for many years a staff writer at The New Yorker and contributes frequently to The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, and other publications. He teaches at the University of California at Berkeley and at Bard College in New York.