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The Habsburgsby Andrew Wheatcroft
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.
This is a history of the rise to power and eventual decline of the Habsburg empire. This episode in history covers three centuries and traces their area of influence of almost all the countries of Europe. Material from both Spanish and Austrian archives has been used for this book.
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.
"Splendidly rich...required reading for anyone who hopes to understand the real Europe."—Daily Telegraph.
For more than six centuries, the strange and defiant Habsburg family ruled a polyglot empire sprawling from Audstria to the Adriatic Sea, from North Africa to Mexico. Researcher Andrew Wheatcroft shows how the dynasty's mystical vision and unsurpassed political acumen culminated in the culture that produced 20th-century giants such as Freud and Hitler. 16 pages of photographs.
About the Author
Andrew Wheatcroft has written and lectured widely on European and Middle Eastern history. His books include The Ottomans and The Hapsburgs.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Introduction to the Penguin Edition
1. The Castle of the Hawk: 1020-1300
2. Cosa Nostra (Our Cause): 1300-1400
3. Universal Empire (1400-1500)
4. El Dorado (The Golden One): 1550-1550
5. A War to the Last Extremity : 1550-1660
6. Felix Austria—the Happy State: 1660-1790
7. The Last Cavalier: 1790-1916
8. Finis Austraie: The End?: 1916-1995
Family Trees: The House of Habsburg, 1000-1922
Sources and Bibliography
What Our Readers Are Saying
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History and Social Science » Europe » Germany » Austria