This was a highly readable book about one of the most extraordinary figures ever to bestride the world stage. The chapters were well-structured, not overly weighty nor too long as some books about Napoleon can be.
Here the reader sees how Napoleon rose from modest means in Corsica to studies at Brienne and the Ecole Nationale in France shortly before the Revolution. Later, as an artillery officer, Napoleon was instrumental in taking back Toulon from the British in 1793. Subsequently, he was given command of a starving, ragtag army in Italy and moulded it into a very effective fighting force, which went on to defeat the Austrians (the dominant power in that part of Europe at the time) in a series of decisive battles. (Napoleon became a general before he was 30.)
Napoleon then went on to Egypt in command an expedition of soldiers and scholars (who uncovered the Rosetta Stone). He also spent some time in the Middle East before returning to Paris, where, late in 1799, he became First Consul, his first step on the rung to real power in France.
For anyone seeking a basic understanding of Napoleon's early years (the book ends in December 1804, when he is crowned Emperor of the French), this book comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.