- "Michael Hughes provides the most fully developed and most highly nuanced account of motivation among the troops who composed Napoleon’s Grande Armée. Founded upon extensive research and enlightened by new cultural and gendered approaches, his volume traces the evolution of Napoleon’s efforts to inspire, and manipulate, his soldiers and the effects of those efforts on officers and the rank and file. Hughes’s application of new categories of analysis is not simply a voguish surface gloss; it is fundamental to the traditional military subjects he examines. His treatment of the evolution of military honor is particularly impressive – absolutely the finest available – and his innovative exposition of how the lure of sexual opportunity tempted the troops is a revelation. Forging Napoleon's Grande Armée is a must read."
—John A. Lynn, Distiguished Professor of Military History, Northwestern University
- "What were the values that helped to make Napoleon’s armies the formidable fighting force they became? In this highly innovative study Michael Hughes shows how notions of honour became redefined to reward talent and courage and appeal to a sense of martial masculinity, while maintaining the sense of patriotic virtue that had been so potent during the Revolutionary years. The book is interdisciplinary in its approach, drawing on military studies and gender theory to create a highly convincing picture of the military culture of the Napoleonic era."
—Alan Forrest, Professor of Modern History, University of York, England
- "Michael Hughes has produced a fascinating study exploring the motivation of French soldiers during the Napoleonic Era, and the process through which they became Napoleon's men. Hughes book is an important contribution to the historiography of martial culture. He does well to integrate various historical methodologies, producing an intelligent and well conceived book that provides another dimension to Napoleonic military history."
—Frederick C. Schneid, author of Napoleon's Conquest of Europe: The War of the Third Coalition
"Hughes offers a tight and well-grounded exposition and analysis of French military culture in the Napoleonic period in which military honour is presented as a dynamic element."
—Journal of European Studies
"Hughes provides an important contribution to the literature concerning Napoleon's ability."
—Journal of Interdisciplinary History
- "Michael Hughes, associate professor of history at Iona College, has executed a masterful book on two fronts. Titled Forging Napoleon's Grande Armee: Motivation, Military Culture, and Masculinity in the French Army 1800-1808, Hughes's book not only contributes to our understanding of the military success of Napoleon's army, but also elegantly employs cultural history methods to better understand army operations and sustained troop motivations."
—Julia Osman, History: Reviews of New Books
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