Andrew Roberts (website, follow on X) is a historian, Visiting Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and a member of the House of Lords. He joins the podcast to talk about his Napoleon: A Life.
The conversation begins with a discussion of different counterfactuals regarding ways in which Napoleon might have been able to stay in power, which leads to Roberts explaining his view that the wars of the era could be understood at least in part as resulting from a rejection of free trade. Other topics include:
Meritocracy as a guiding principle of the French Revolution and a justification for Napoleon’s regime
Napoleon’s personal magnetism and why men were willing to follow him
The relationship with Josephine, and whether or not it influenced any of his political decision
Whether Napoleon was in fact the greatest general of his time