I just finished a re-read of Jeremy Black’s The Battle of Waterloo (2010). This review I also posted on Goodreads.
This is a book that says a lot.
Black manages to condense treatments of the battle, the campaign, its prelude and its aftermath as well as summaries of military developments and the Napoleonic Wars into a mere 236 pages. These do not particularly suffer for their brevity; Black is astute and remarkably comprehensive. He emphasizes the futility of Bonaparte’s last grasp at power, the continuity of Napoleonic tactics with those of the past, the errors of French leaders and the significance of the battle’s outcome.
I would recommend this book as a Coles Notes on the Battle of Waterloo and the history that surrounds it for those who do not mind writing in a more academic style.