The Illustrious Dead: The Terrifying Story of How Typhus Killed Napoleon's Greatest Army

The Illustrious Dead: The Terrifying Story of How Typhus Killed Napoleon's Greatest Army

Stephan Talty


“Gripping . . . a compelling tale of private hubris and humbling defeat.”
—Jack Weatherford,author of the New York Times bestseller Genghis Khan and the Making of the
Modern international

In a masterful twin narrative that pits the heights of human ambition and fulfillment opposed to the supremacy of nature, New York Times bestselling writer Stephan Talty tells the tale of a powerful ruler and a tiny microbe, antagonists whose fight could form the trendy world.

In the spring of 1812, Napoleon Bonaparte used to be on the peak of his powers. Forty-five million known as him emperor, and he commanded a kingdom that used to be the richest, such a lot cultured, and complicated on the earth. No military might stand opposed to his impeccably proficient, brilliantly led forces, and his endured sweep throughout Europe appeared inevitable.

Early that 12 months, strengthened through his successes, Napoleon grew to become his attentions towards Moscow, helming the biggest invasion in human heritage. definitely, Tsar Alexander’s outnumbered troops may disintegrate in contrast powerful strength.

But one other robust and historic enemy awaited Napoleon’s males within the Russian steppes. Virulent and rapid, this microscopic foe may deliver the emperor to his knees.

Even because the Russians retreated prior to him in disarray, Napoleon came upon his military disappearing, his frantic medical professionals powerless to give an explanation for what had struck down one hundred thousand infantrymen. The emperor’s vaunted army brilliance unexpectedly appeared dead, and while the Russians placed their very own occupied capital to the torch, the crusade grew to become a determined race in the course of the frozen panorama as troops endured to die via the millions. via all of it, with tragic heroism, Napoleon’s disease-ravaged, freezing, ravenous males someway rallied, repeatedly, to cries of “Vive l’Empereur!”

Yet Talty’s sweeping story takes us some distance past the doomed heroics and bloody clashes of the battlefield. The Illustrious Dead delves deep into the origins of the pathogen that eventually ended the robust emperor’s goals of worldwide conquest and exposes this “war plague’s” hidden function all through historical past. A story of 2 unstoppable forces assembly at the highway to Moscow in an epic conflict of killer microbe and peerless military, The Illustrious Dead is a historic whodunit during which 1000000 lives hold within the balance.

From the Hardcover edition.

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