Sarkozy, Napoleon had distinct similarities, says French commentator

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Paris, Jan.22 (ANI): A French political commentator has claimed that there are distinct similarities between President Nicholas Sarkozy and the country's former Emperor Napoleon.

In his book, Alain Duhamel points out the startling parallels between Sarkozy and Napoleon - and their marriages to Carla Bruni and Empress JosephineAccording to The Independent, which has accessed excerpts from the book, both will be remembered as vertically challenged men in a vertiginous hurry. Beautiful wives, with whom they quarrelled, also helped both into power.

He further goes on to say in his book that both believed that they had a destiny to rebuild France and, above all, to change the way the French think of themselves.

Both are also known for a weakness for kitsch and anything that glitters.Both came from non-French, minor aristocratic backgrounds and despised the Parisian elite. Both had, from the start of their career, an obsession with image and grasped the importance of controlling the media.

President Sarkozy is also almost exactly the same height as L'Empéreur, about 5ft 6in, which was, in fact, respectably tall in Napoleon's day.

France remains schizophrenic about Napoleon's character and legacy. The street-map of Paris is littered with tributes to the emperor's generals, victories, armies and treaties but it has no grand avenue or boulevard named after Napoleon himself.Duhamel's book is, on balance, positive about both men. But, crucially, it limits the period of its comparison to the "Bonaparte" years between 1799 and 1804, when the young Corsican general imposed order on the post-revolutionary muddle. As "First Consul".

Bonaparte laid down the framework of the modern French state, from the code civile, to the franc, to the Légion d'honneur, to the colleges for training an "elite".

Duhamel, however, avoids a comparison between the two with the Napoleon years 1804-15, when Bonaparte crowned himself emperor and entered a tyrannical and megalomanic spiral which ended at Waterloo. (ANI)

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