By Stephan Talty
“Gripping . . . a compelling tale of private hubris and humbling defeat.”
—Jack Weatherford,author of the New York Times bestseller Genghis Khan and the Making of the
In a masterful twin narrative that pits the heights of human ambition and success opposed to the supremacy of nature, New York Times bestselling writer Stephan Talty tells the tale of a amazing ruler and a tiny microbe, antagonists whose fight may form the fashionable world.
In the spring of 1812, Napoleon Bonaparte used to be on the top of his powers. Forty-five million known as him emperor, and he commanded a state that was once the richest, such a lot cultured, and complex in the world. No military may perhaps stand opposed to his impeccably educated, brilliantly led forces, and his persevered sweep throughout Europe appeared inevitable.
Early that yr, strengthened through his successes, Napoleon became his attentions towards Moscow, helming the most important invasion in human historical past. without doubt, Tsar Alexander’s outnumbered troops might disintegrate by contrast strong strength.
But one other strong and old enemy awaited Napoleon’s males within the Russian steppes. Virulent and speedy, this microscopic foe may carry the emperor to his knees.
Even because the Russians retreated prior to him in disarray, Napoleon came across his military disappearing, his frantic medical professionals powerless to give an explanation for what had struck down 100000 squaddies. The emperor’s vaunted army brilliance all at once appeared lifeless, and while the Russians positioned their very own occupied capital to the torch, the crusade grew to become a determined race throughout the frozen panorama as troops persisted to die through the hundreds of thousands. via all of it, with tragic heroism, Napoleon’s disease-ravaged, freezing, ravenous males by some means rallied, repeatedly, to cries of “Vive l’Empereur!”
Yet Talty’s sweeping story takes us some distance past the doomed heroics and bloody clashes of the battlefield. The Illustrious Dead delves deep into the origins of the pathogen that eventually ended the strong emperor’s goals of worldwide conquest and exposes this “war plague’s” hidden position all through heritage. A story of 2 unstoppable forces assembly at the highway to Moscow in an epic conflict of killer microbe and peerless military, The Illustrious Dead is a ancient whodunit during which 1000000 lives grasp within the balance.
From the Hardcover edition.