In a tense, crowded thirty-three days in the autumn of 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte organized a coup and made himself dictator of France. Yet his position was precarious. He knew that France would accept his rule only if he gained military victories that brought peace. James Arnold, in this detailed and compelling account, describes the extraordinary campaigns that followed. At Marengo Bonaparte defeated the Austrians and his fellow general Jean Moreau beat the combined Austrian and Bavarian armies at Hohenlinden. These twin campaigns proved decisive. Bonaparte's dictatorship was secure and his enemies across Europe were forced into a 15-year struggle to overthrow him.
James R. Arnold is a distinguished military historian with a special interest in the Napoleonic Wars. In addition to two volumes on Napoleon's 1809 campaign, his works include Presidents Under Fire, a study of how American presidents perform as war leaders, and Grant Wins the War, an account of the Vicksburg campaign.