dirty hair and titty rings (jessex) wrote in napoleon_1,
dirty hair and titty rings

War and Peace, and Hitler/Napoleon

I recently started reading War and Peace...well, I'm about to anyway. It took me two days to read all the forwards and author's notes! I picked up a copy from Ebay, it's the version translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude in 1944 I believe it was. I chose to buy that translation because it was the only unabridged one I could find and apparently it's one of the generally accepted English translations. (( A little off topic here but speaking of translations, if any of you choose to read Mein Kampf, stay away from the Jacob Publishing House version because it's full of spelling and grammar errors. So much so that I don't really trust it and plan on buying/reading a better translation.))

Anyways, have any of you read the book? Did you like it? I'll probably make a couple posts about it between now and the time I finish. In the forward it portays Napoleon as a lot like Hitler, not only in invasion strategy but in personality/motives which bothers me a little. However, looking at it from the Russians' side and from the view of non-French conscripts I can see why they hate him so much. I've seen the comparison before but here they are made out to be pretty much the same.

I'm also making my way through a couple of smaller books that I'll post about once I finish and have an opinion on them. By the way, sooner or later I'll get Moscow 1812; it seems like a good book. When I get around to it I'll put some book recommendations in the user info.

So my post has at least some purpose, would you guys say that Hitler and Napoleon are more alike or more different from each other? From my somewhat limited knowledge I'd say that although similarities are definately there, the two men had two very different personalities and motives. Napoleon told Alexander that he would invade (and Alexander told Napoleon that he'd leave Moscow but I digress), which may have been a big mistake but I see it as Napoleon wanting to salvage what he thought was a real friendship/alliance as well as a last ditch effort to get his own way, whereas Hitler always hated Stalin and what he stood for. Maybe I've just read too many authours who kiss Napoleon's ass.

The biggest difference between Hitler/Bonaparte (besides the fact that they lived in two very different social/technological eras) that I notice without researching the details is their motives. From the beginning Hitler set out to get rid of Jews and "purify" the human race. Napoleon wanted every person man of every race (actually that is not completely correct, what I mean is that he wasn't out to get rid of non-French) in every country to have what he viewed as the privilages of Frenchmen. No doubt that he caused a lot of death and destruction, and ended up power hungry and crazy, but the reasons were different. I suppose that if your Hatian, or English, or Spanish, or if someone from your family suffered through Russia in 1812 that it doesn't matter much why the French made your life hell. I don't know, I'm writing this off the top of my head and probably missing some key facts here, but in my opinion I don't think it's fair to say that Hitler was just like Napoleon or vice versa.
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