Spectre of Communism

Napoleon: Marxism vs movie myths

Ridley Scott’s recent biopic Napoleon has evoked much criticism for its shallow narrative and plethora of historical inaccuracies. But who was the real Napoleon Bonaparte? How did a young Corsican from a relatively modest background become the strongman behind an empire that would dominate Europe?

This week’s episode of the Spectre of Communism Podcast welcomes Keelan Kellegher, a leading member of Socialist Appeal, to fill in the many gaps in Scott’s portrayal of Napoleon. We discuss the revolutionary and counter-revolutionary movements that swept France in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Napoleon’s role in them.

For further reading on the historical figure of Napoleon Bonaparte from a Marxist perspective, we recommend this article by Alan Woods.

We also recommend this report on the recent Revolution Festival, which featured a talk by Keelan on the French Revolution.

Here is Keelan’s review of the film.