March 28, 2009 cameron

The Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast 50 – Guest Alex Mikaberidze on Napoleon and Alexander

We made it to 50! w00t!

Thanks to everyone for supporting our little show over the last few years. It’s been an honour to create these shows for you. Can I ask a favour? Would you mind going to our iTunes page and rating the podcast? The more ratings we get, the more people find the show. Click here to open up our page in iTunes.

Our guest today is the wonderful Alexander Mikaberidze.

Alex is assistant professor of European history at Louisiana State University in Shreveport. He holds a degree in international law from Tbilisi State University (Republic of Georgia, 1999) and a Ph.D. in history from Florida State University (2003). After working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia (1996-2000), he taught European and Middle Eastern history at Florida State and Mississippi State Universities and lectured on strategy and policy for the U.S. Naval War College. In addition to his articles on various Napoleonic-related topics, Dr. Mikaberidze has written and edited seven books, including The Battle of Borodino: Napoleon versus Kutuzov (2007), Historical Dictionary of Georgia (2007), The Russian Officer Corps in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, 1792-1815 (2004, winner of the 2005 Literary Prize of the International Napoleonic Society), The Czar’s General: The Memoirs of a Russian General in the Napoleonic Wars (2005). He has been awarded the International Napoleonic Society’s Legion of Merit Award for his contributions to the Napoleonic studies.

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Comments (13)

  1. Hamish

    That was a great show, worth the wait! Alex sounds like an amazing person..dang I wish I could get to Montreal.

  2. John G

    Hi David and Cameron

    Congratulations on reaching 50 episodes. I have absolutely loved the entire series. You guys are really doing something special by making Napoleon so accessible through the podcast medium. I knew nothing about Napoleon (except for the stereotyped and negative British perspective you get from living in a Commonwealth country) until I started listening to your podcast series. Now I’m hooked on Napoleon. I have listened to every episode at least twice!

    Every episode has been good but this 50th episode with Alex was exceptional. It was really good to get this Russian perspective. I was fascinated to hear that Kutusov may have planned the Russian retreat as a way to defeat Napoleon (or as the French may prefer to refer to it, the “strategic withdrawal” from Russia). This is interesting from the perspective that Napoleon’s defeat/withdrawal was not accidental. And if you agree that Napoleon was a military genius (which I do), this was finally a strategy that someone had found and planned to beat him.

  3. David Whitworth

    Probably the most fascinating episode yet with really interesting insights into the Russian position. Very intersting to realise that the Russians put a lot of careful thought into how to take on Napoleon and that they based their strategy on Wellington’s Peninsular campaign. So you could argue that Wellington was primarily responsible for the ultimate defeat of Napoleon !

  4. Paul Caspall

    Excellent episode. Great insight from Alex. Listening to his comments re 1812, I’m curious to know what he believes the Russian (and Austrian) forces would have done post-Waterloo had Napoleon won in 1815. But I guess I’ll have to wait for Napoleon to get out of Moscow in 1812 and start marching home first. Looking forward to Alex’s views on the Retreat in the meantime. Any idea when that next episode with Alex will be? Or is something else planned first? Thanks again.

  5. Greg McP

    Yeah, Alex was terrific. Good meaty stuff.
    I like that perspective from the Russian Generals point of view. It so often appears that we have the brilliant Napoleon fighting a faceless, vastly inferior enemy.
    So it’s good to hear the strategies of the Generals on the other side and realise that they were fairly intelligent guys in their own right.

  6. Jason


    I have been listening to your podcasts for awhile now and I find them absolutely fascinating. I was wondering if you could point me into a direction for Napoleonic studies in the Midwest of the USA?

    I know I missed the Chicago conference a couple of years ago and that is a shame, as I would have loved to attend. Anywhere an amatuer Napoleon enthusiast can get schooled other than independent study. BTW, I have 3 of David’s books and love them and I am going to be one of the first ones to order the DVD when it comes out. Thanks for all the work you do guys. Really fantastic stuff.

  7. Hans (Norway)

    Thanks for another great episode! Very interesting to hear Alex` view from the Russian side. Hope we can hear him on a few more shows to cover the rest of 1812. Some more insights into the Russian society under Tsar Alexander, the mobilisation of the Church, treatment of the serfs etc. would be very interesting.

  8. Hi, guys,

    Thanks for the kind comments. Yes indeed, Alex is really special. And he’s coming back on the 22nd. We did episode 51 on the 8th, also with Alex, so keep checking to see when it will be posted. I’ll pass your comments on to him.


  9. Hi guys,

    Thank you very much for your comments. David and Cameron were very kind in inviting me and I hope you will enjoy the upcoming podcasts as well.

    Best wishes,

  10. JCG

    One of the best episodes of this great podcast. Alex provides a lot of new insight from the Russian perspective, but it’s also interesting that he does agree with David and Cameron in a few areas. Keep it up guys.

  11. Peter

    i have not got to the end yet around episode 10 but its really fantastic !
    David your simply a well of knowledge. .and cameron your readings are very good.

    Peter Laurent (a half French Napolanut)

  12. I think last five episode is best!
    alexander mikaberidze very clever person and one of the best historian in amerika and georgia.

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