PBS.org Spotlights Web site Celebrating Statesman, Soldier, Hero, Tyrant, Lover and Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte

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Accompanies David Grubin Documentary Airing on PBS Stations

Can You Win the Battle of Waterloo?

ALEXANDRIA, VA., November 8, 2000 -- PBS.org presents "NAPOLEON" (PBS.org/napoleon), a companion Web site to the documentary by David Grubin, both of which chronicle the fascinating and still controversial life of Napoleon Bonaparte, a man of uncompromising will and stunning military genius who came to rule 70 million people, and because of his ambition, pride and blinding nationalism, lost everything. The television program airs on PBS stations November 8 and 15 (check local listings).

The comprehensive Web site delves deeper into the accomplishments, shortcomings and downfall of one of history's most colorful and remarkable figures. These special interactive features give users an up-close look at the Emperor:

  • An Interactive Battlefield Simulator lets users return to the Battle of Waterloo and compare their military skills with two of the greatest commanders in history. Users play as either Napoleon or Wellington, making on-the-scene battlefield decisions, and then learning the results each decision might have produced;
  • An online forum offers a venue for individuals to contribute their thoughts on Napoleon and his legacy;
  • An historical timeline highlights significant events in Napoleon's life;
  • A collection of electronic postcards enables visitors to "share" Napoleon with friends by sending cyber-greetings; and
  • A striking screensaver lets users bring Napoleon Bonaparte to their own desktop.

Incorporating archival stills, commentary from Napoleonic scholars, and biographical information, the following essays trace the evolution of Napoleon:

  • Man & Myth chronicles the rags-to-riches story of the Emperor's life and career, and considers the nature of his leadership itself -- both brilliant and bungled.
  • Napoleon & Josephine offers a rich archive of personal letters and background information revealing Napoleon's passionate love for a woman of extravagant tastes and habits -- the legendary Josephine de Beauharnais -- and follows the course of their relationship.
  • Politics in Napoleon's Time provides an overview of the political climate in France at the end of the 18th century, explaining how Napoleon was able seize power during the chaos of the post-Revolutionary era and, despite his ultimate downfall, create a far-reaching government bureaucracy that laid the foundation for today's France.
  • Napoleon at War examines Bonaparte's genius for military leadership including descriptions of his major campaigns and battles, as well as descriptions of the weapons and units of the Grand Armee.

In addition, the site features a complete episode guide, video clips from the program, an interview with David Grubin about the production of his documentary, and lesson plans designed to help educators use the NAPOLEON series and companion Web site in secondary level social studies, civics, religion and language arts classes. The NAPOLEON video is also available for purchase online.

The NAPOLEON Web site is a production of PBS Interactive in association with David Grubin Productions. The NAPOLEON documentary is a David Grubin Production in association with Devillier Donegan Enterprises.

PBS.org, PBS's award-winning site on the World Wide Web, produces high-quality Web programming as it pioneers the convergence of television and the Internet. PBS ONLINE features more than 100,000 pages of content as well as companion Web sites for nearly 400 PBS programs and specials. In January 2000, Yahoo! put PBS.org at the top of its list of the best Web sites of all time.

PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 347 public television stations. Serving nearly 100 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at PBS.org.

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Kevin Dando

Carol Dufault