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Napoleon and the American Dream

translated by Ines Murat

256 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / no illustrations

West European History

  Paperback / 9780807124635 / March 1999

Inès Murat’s readable and entertaining narrative introduces us to little-known facts about the adventures and misadventures of numerous French veterans of Waterloo who migrated to the United States. More often than not, their visions of life in this country conflicted with the original New World dream of the peaceful pioneer.

For two centuries, the lure of what we now call the American Dream had beckoned rich and poor from the Old World. “In all respects,” said Napoleon, “America was our true refuge.” Reported by Las Cases in the Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène, this statement signifies only one phase of the connections between the Emperor and the United States.

Anecdotes and incisive portraits of numerous Bonapartists who came to America vividly portray the complex intermeshing between the Emperor and the United States.

Anecdotes and incisive portraits of numerous Bonapartists who came to America vividly portray the complex intermeshing between the ideals of the French Revolution and the new forms of freedom that had been born in America. These dramatic accounts bring to the foreground of history the impact of two world views—that of the Old World, sheltered in the shadow of Napoleon’s belief in historical destiny, and that of the New World, more experimental and industrious. The clash produced a resounding din in the Napoleonic epoch, for which Napoleon and the American Dream traces new routes and relationships between two cultures.

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