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The Habsburgs: Dynasty, Culture and Politicsby Paula Sutter Fichtner
Synopses & Reviews
The death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 not only sparked the beginning of World War Iand#151;it also initiated the beginning of the end of the six-hundred-year-old Habsburg dynasty, which fell apart when the war ended, changing Europe forever. But how did the Habsburgs come to play such a decisive role in the fate of the continent? Paula Sutter Fichtner seeks to answer this question in this comprehensive account of the longest-lived European empire.
Tracing the origins of the house of Habsburg to the tenth century, Fichtner identifies the principal characters in the story and explores how they were able to hold together such a culturally diverse and multiethnic state for so many centuries. She takes account of the intertwining of culture, politics, and society, revealing the strategies that enabled the dynastyand#8217;s extraordinarily long life: its dazzling mix of cultural propaganda, public performances, and cunning political maneuvering. She points out the irony that one of the crowd-pleasing performances that had enabled the Habsburg successand#151;visiting beds of the injuredand#151;led to Ferdinandand#8217;s death and the empireand#8217;s downfall. Breathing fresh life into the history of the Habsburg reign, this accessible and authoritative history charts one of the pivotal foundation stories of modern Europe.
The Habsburgs: Dynasty, Politics and Culture traces the origins of house Habsburg, and shows how it was able to hold together such a culturally diverse, polyglot, and multiethnic state for more than 600 years, the cessation of which changed the shape of Europe forever. Taking account of the interpenetration of culture, politics, and society, the book reveals the strategies that enabled the dynastyand#8217;s extraordinarily long life: its dazzling mix of cultural propaganda, public performances, and cunning political maneuvering. It is one of the most striking ironies of this history that Ferdinand was killed while on his way to visit the beds of the injuredand#151;just the sort of crowd-pleasing performance that had enabled Habsburg success.
This incisive new history tells the story of the Habsburgs in accessible yet authoritative fashion, revealing the intriguing principal characters in the drama, and breathing fresh life into the history of the Habsburg reign. The book charts one of the pivotal foundation stories of modern Europe, and is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of the continent.
About the Author
Paula Sutter Fichtner is professor of history emerita at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her books include Terror and Toleration: The Habsburg Empire Confronts Islam, also published by Reaktion Books.
Table of Contents
1. Getting Started
2. The Habsburgs Regroup
3. Champions of Faith and Family
4. New Tactics for New Times
5. Revolution, Recovery, Revolution
6. Constructing Commitment
7. Alternative Narratives, Competing Visions
8. Bosnia and After
9. One Goodbye, Several Farewells
Genealogy: The House of Habsburg
List of Illustrations
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