How should we remember Napoleon, the man of obscure Corsican birth who rose to become emperor of the French and briefly master of Europe?
As the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo approaches in 2015, Intelligence Squared brought together two of Britainâ€™s finest historians to debate how we should assess Napoleonâ€™s life and legacy. Was he a military genius and father of the French state, or a blundering nonentity who created his own enduring myth? Was his goal of uniting the European continent under a common political system the forerunner of the modern â€˜European dreamâ€™? Or was he an incompetent despot, a warning from history of the dangers of overarching grand plans?
Championing Napoleon was historian Andrew Roberts, author of, among other books, 'Napoleon the Great', 'Napoleon and Wellington', and 'Waterloo: Napoleon's Last Gamble'. Opposing him was fellow historian Adam Zamoyski, author of, among other books, '1812. Napoleon's Fatal March on Moscow' and 'Rites of Peace. The Fall of Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna'.
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