The Shadow Emperor: A Biography of Napoleon III

The Shadow Emperor: A Biography of Napoleon III

A breakout biography of Louis-Napoleon III, whose controversial achievements have polarized historians.

Considered one of the pre-eminent Napoleon Bonaparte experts, Pulitzer Prize-nominated historian Alan Strauss-Schom has turned his sights on another in that dynasty, Napoleon III (Louis-Napoleon) overshadowed for too long by his more romanticized forebear.

In the first full biography of Napoleon III by an American historian, Strauss-Schom uses his years of primary source research to explore the major cultural, sociological, economical, financial, international, and militaristic long-lasting effects of France's most polarizing emperor. Louis-Napoleon’s achievements have been mixed and confusing, even to historians. He completely revolutionized the infrastructure of the state and the economy, but at the price of financial scandals of imperial proportions. In an age when “colonialism” was expanding, Louis-Napoleon’s colonial designs were both praised by the emperor’s party and the French military and resisted by the socialists.

He expanded the nation’s railways to match those of England; created major new transoceanic steamship lines and a new modern navy; introduced a whole new banking sector supported by seemingly unlimited venture capital, while also empowering powerful new state and private banks; and completely rebuilt the heart of Paris, street by street.

Napoleon III wanted to surpass the legacy of his famous uncle, Napoleon I. In The Shadow Emperor, Alan Strauss-Schom sets the record straight on Napoleon III's legacy.

Title:The Shadow Emperor: A Biography of Napoleon III
Edition Language:English
Format Type:

About Alan Schom

    The Shadow Emperor: A Biography of Napoleon III Reviews

  • Erin

    Oof. This book was quite the long read. I really didn't know much about Napoleon III before this book other than that he was responsible for modernizing Paris. There were a lot of points in the book w...

  • Brian Bridgeforth

    I have been waiting for a new book about Louis Napoleon to come out for a few years now and was pleased when I learned this book was to be published. It was worth the wait. Schom's style is clear and ...

  • Todd

    This was a dream come true. I have been talking for years about wanting an English language biography about Napoleon III, even considering writing it myself. He's the most fascinating and significant ...

  • Umair Muhajir

    Schom's book should be interesting, and at the outset, he sets out his intention to redeem (from a historical memory that has regarded him as little more than a bumbler with the good fortune to inheri...

  • Lindsey

    This provided quite a lot of information on an otherwise obscured portion of French and European history-the Second Empire and Napoleon III. Louis Napoleon and his Empress Eugenie oversaw the recreati...

  • Patrick Elsey

    The author is more interested in other subjects within the book the the biography titled subject.It’s also too old fashioned a bio with no general historiography of the time period to create context...

  • Amy

    The Shadow Emperor: A Biography of Napoleon III is an interesting and fascinating read. I give it 4 stars. ...

  • Mitchell Kaufman

    Interesting read on the life of an oft-forgotten Bonaparte, Emperor Napoleon III of France....