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History Lessons by Jonathan Gifford

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NAPOLEON BONAPARTE

(1769–1821)

Napoleon is known as one of the great military commanders of all time—possibly the greatest. He was also a remarkable leader in the most general sense. His leadership skills were based on a wide range of personal characteristics and strengths. He had a remarkable memory, able to store and recall huge amounts of information in great detail. He could focus on any issue for very long periods of time without losing concentration; his keen intelligence and his shrewd grasp of the key issues of the day gave him a commanding air of authority. He was personally brave, to the point of a kind of fatalism (“the bullet has not yet been made that has my name on it”); he had the ability to inspire others, and to drive them very ...

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