Little General Gets Big

Though he earned his place in history as a ruthless emperor and military genius, Napoleon Bonaparte was also a peerless megalomaniac. In the final years of his forced exile on the South Atlantic island of St. Helena, the fallen master predicted that his hated internment by Britain would only enhance his myth. "If it hadn't been for the crucifixion," Napoleon reasoned, "Jesus would not have become a god." It was a truly Napoleonic comparison, but contained a kernel of truth: the Napoleonic legend is enjoying something of a resurrection these days in France.

While the French don't revere...

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