Books: The Corsican Mafia

THE BONAPARTES by David Stacton. 382 pages. Simon & Schuster. $7.95.

"All Italians are scoundrels!" Napoleon once exclaimed in a fit of pique with his compatriots. "Not all," an Italian noblewoman slyly replied, "but a good part (non tutti, ma buona parte)."

It was a good pun and a useful one in a century overburdened with Bonapartes. Like a swarm of corpulent drones they rose from the thickets of Corsica and fell with a sodden thump on the sinecures of empire. Noisy, ugly, greedy, provincial, quarrelsome, ostentatious, lewd and downright criminal, they terrorized Europe off...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!