*Napoleon: Passion, Death and Resurrection, 1815-1849*

The bottom line here is that I ordered all of Philip Dwyer’s other books on Napoleon.  This one covers Napoleon’s time on St. Helena and how the memory of Napoleon was processed after his death, running up through the return of Napoleon’s body to France.  Here is one excerpt:

In 1840, the year of the return of Napoleon’s remains to France, thirteen or fourteen “Napoleons” were admitted to the insane asylum at Bicêtre in the south of Paris.  One can imagine that each of them considered the others to be made.  Of course, there had been people suffering from this kind of delusion even while he was still alive.  In 1818, at least five people were admitted to Charenton hospital believing they were Napoleon.  Now, however, Napoleon was being caricatured, right down to his temperament — ‘imperial’,  proud, haughty, abrupt, tyrannical, capricious, choleric.  The men (and one woman that we know of) who believed they were Napoleon always fit the same profile: they took themselves seriously, they gave orders and they demanded loyalty; in return they treated people with disdain.

Definitely recommended, surprisingly gripping throughout, you can buy it here.


The men (and one woman that we know of) who believed they were Napoleon always fit the same profile: they took themselves seriously, they gave orders and they demanded loyalty; in return they treated people with disdain.

Is that a result of being Emperor of France or a cause? Did Napoleon rise because he was always this way or did living and commanding cheese-eating not-quite-surrender monkeys make him that way?

I would go with it being his nature from the start. Now, how long before someone mentions Trump? Three posts?

Russia will be his Waterloo. (It’s gotta be true, I hear it every day.)

Stormy Daniels must be his Josephine.

I guess that makes Mueller the Duke of Wellington.

Hillary! Is that you in the Napoleon suit?

I'll be honest. Trump was the first person I thought of when I read "imperial ... haughty, tyrannical, capricious ..." Don Sr that is, although Don Jr's apple hasn't fallen too far from the tree and could also fit the bill. So Subtlety am I a bad person? Are you going to spank me for having these evil thoughts?

Yes you are but no I am not. Because when I read it I thought of Obama. The problem being that Napoleon and Trump have successes to their name.

While the only thing Obama is good at is leaking sealed confidential Court documents to smear his opponents.

Obama's, let's say confidence, did not really come across to me, because I was listening to his words. His logic.

But let's say for the sake of discussion it was arrogance. Are you willing to admit that it was an arrogance directed more strongly towards altruism and protecting other people than elevating oneself?

I would say his arrogance was exactly directed at elevating himself. When did he not act in a fashion that was in his own self interest, or the interest of someone directly connected to him?

As to "imperial ... haughty, tyrannical, capricious ..." I didn't see him as tyrannical. "imperial ... haughty, tyrannical, capricious ..." was much more Hillary's gig.

So universal health care was inwardly directed? Quite a stretch IMO.

As opposed to Trump who hasn't done jack for the poor little people who supported him. Instead we have tax cuts for millionaires like himself, financed by debt. Instead of draining the swamp we have the most self-serving government in 100 years.

Against a backdrop of constant obstruction of justice, at a minimum.

There has been no obstruction of justice, just a Deep State coup attempt. After all, there has been no crime so there can be no obstruction.

And in the meantime, the employment figures seem to show that Trump is doing a lot for the poor - especially Blacks. But even if he wasn't, the Little Sisters of the Poor are not being forced to perform abortions on their kitchen tables. And that is worth a lot.

Only reason for Obamacare was a govt takeover an additional 16% of the economy, by the guy in charge of the govt.

By your logic the building of the interstate highways was a government takeover of the automotive industry

(Having a good deal of self confidence, the self-confidence of others doesn't worry me.)

You come across as extremely officious which is the opposite of confidence. Doubt you have a phd but if you did you definitely go by Dr.

Tolstoy made an amusing case that Napoleon was blessed with two qualities that are essential for any aspiring Great Man: vanity and ignorance. He also emphasized, however, that Napoleon could not have gotten to the top alone: “The ignorance of his colleagues, the weakness and insignificance of his opponents, the frankness of his falsehoods, and the dazzling and self-confident limitations of this man raise him to the head of the army” (Tolstoy, 1996: 1001).

Tolstoy's psychological profile of Napoleon always came across as pretty amiss frankly. He did a lot better with Russians like Kustov and the reformist politician.

I wonder who is the current Napoleon in terms of the largest number of mad men believing they are him?

It would be a good quantitative measure of celebrity to track over time.

King Elvis of Graceland, I'd guess.

I talked with Elvis during a seance, and he really wants those who think they are him to seek help. "There is only one King," the King said in a a fading whisper.

I think the King did not think this through. A crazy person who believes he is the King presumably also believes that There Can Be Only One King, and that it happens to be him, so chances are the nutjob would similarly tell (the real) King to seek help.

Next time you talk to Elvis, tell him to read the psychologist Milton Rokeach's "The Three Christs of Ypsilanti" (1964). Rokeach did an experiment where he got three men who believed they were Jesus to live together for a while, the idea being that it would force them to realize that they cannot possibly all be the Only Son of God. Far as I recall, all three concluded that the other two Jesuses were crazy;-)

What is the answer to the Jewish Question?

Does Trump have a Napoleon complex or does Napoleon have a Trump complex?

Trump has a Napoleon III complex.

Awesome first eight years of Napoleon III were great.

Tyler (and others):
You may enjoy this book, if you haven’t read it already:
“The Death of Napoleon”, by Simon Leys

I suspect more people have seen Elvis since he died than have seen Napoleon since he died; indeed, I suspect more people have seen Elvis since he died than have seen Jesus since He died. For some people, death is not the end of existence. Everlasting life, indeed.

Speaking of death, I've had a revelation: that nationalist (right-wing) populism is the product not so much of the liberal world order and globalism as the product of the financial crisis and the west's (including the United States') response to it, namely one that focused on stopping the collapse of financial asset prices and restoring those prices to the pre-crisis level. The "elites" rescued the bankers and the owners of financial assets while hard-working Americans lost their jobs and their homes. While Trump is no more likely than Napoleon to give priority to helping hard-working Americans in the event of another financial crisis, one has to have doubts whether the Fed would respond in the same way (i.e., with aggressive monetary stimulus). Our Austrian friends may well have their day, in which case not even Napoleon (or Jesus) can save us.

No, I have not forgotten the rage of many Americans when a few "elites" floated the idea of helping hard-working Americans keep their homes (as the"elites" helped the bankers and owners of financial assets). Indeed, I heard many of those hard-working Americans react to the idea with their best (unintended) support for Austrian economics: let the home prices fall! Whether they were expressing support for Austrian economics, puritanical moralism, or concern that the help would be directed to "those people", I can't say. But the lesson to "elites" is don't help anybody in the event of another financial crisis.

"Speaking of Napoleon, here's a rant about the financial crisis that I've had queued up for a few days."

Nowadays it is politically correct to accept the delusions of men/women who think they are really women/men and to help realize their delusions with "gender confirmation" surgery. Which delusions should be promoted, and which ones should be scorned?

The cuckold readers of this blog, such as yourself, are preoccupied by such concerns because you live your life constantly humiliated by the BBD.

Not true. I am proud to be a cuckold.

The first comment by Beliavsky was by me, but the 2nd comment at June 3, 2018 at 8:39 am was not. Spoofing people's identities is slimy.

I couldn't agree more!

Not as slimy as my "people watching" wall.

I see the Mercatus interns are at it again.

Napoleon was defined by his opponents. The French royalty was deserving of every bit of disdain and hatred that they got, and as usual was replaced by the same. The prisons loved him because they could do their military thing. He seemed to capture the devotion and loyalty that the royals had hoped to engender.

Feckless stupidity followed by a strongman send to be a european pattern.

The restored Burbons and the putchist Orlelons sure. But Louis XVII was a good man who got caught up in post-liberalization rising expectations trap.

What’s the current consensus view of Napoleon from historians of the period? I’ve heard people compare him to Hitler which surprised me as I grew up thinking he was an enlightenment figure who tried to bring important reforms to the nations he conquered.

Hoosier, the one does not exclude the other. Respectable historians have made the argument--I first encountered it in John Lukacs' /The Hitler of History/--that had Hitler been killed in a plane crash at any time prior to (roughly) his occupation of Bohemia-Moravia in the spring of 1939, he might now be regarded as the greatest German ruler ever, eclipsing even the Iron Chancellor and Freddie the Great. Indeed, one of the early Star Trek Original Series episodes ("Patterns of Force") essentially uses that as its premise.

Certainly, whomever Napoleon would have put on the Russian throne couldn't have been worse than the Romanovs. Had his Russian campaign been successful, the world might have been spared the nightmare of the Soviet Union.

It's unlikely that Napoleon intended to replace the Romanovs on the Russian throne-- he left the Habsburgs on the Austrian throne (and even married one of them) and the Hohenzollerns on Prussia's. He only wanted a Russia that would follow France's lead.

BTW, I do not know if it is still true now, but when I was living in France and Belgium and reading French and Belgian comic books ("bandes dessinees") the trope of "crazy = thinking you're Napoleon" was still alive and well. If one encountered an obvious lunatic, the thought-bubble invariably was of the loony in a Napoleonic greatcoat and Bicorne hat, with one hand slipped inside the front of the coat (apparently a signature pose of the Great Man) and wearing a goofy grin.

It's been a long time since I've seen a reference to "mad man thinks he's Napoleon" but the image was well-known in the US some decades ago: witness the self-styled creator of the hit novelty song "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!": Napoleon the 14th.

Oops, that was meant to be a reply to David's comment about the Napoleon trope.

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