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Books > History > Europe > B00INYG324
  1. A Concise History of Austria (Cambridge Concise Histories)
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  2. A Concise History of Austria (Cambridge Concise Histories)

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    Customer Ratings (12 reviews)
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For a small, prosperous country in the middle of Europe, modern Austria has a very large and complex history, extending far beyond its current borders. Today's Austrians have a problematic relationship with that history, whether with the multi-national history of the Habsburg Monarchy, or with the time between 1938 and 1945 when Austrians were Germans in Hitler's Third Reich. Steven Beller's gripping and comprehensive account traces the remarkable career of Austria through its many transformations, from German borderland, to dynastic enterprise, imperial house, Central European great power, failed Alpine republic, German province, and then successful Alpine republic, building up a picture of the layers of Austrian identity and heritage and their diverse sources. It is a story full of anomalies and ironies, a case study of the other side of European history, without the easy answers of more clearly national narratives, and hence far more relevant to today's world.

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Steven Beller
Kindle Edition
Kindle eBook
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

A pretty good book about a part of Europe that deserves more attention from historians. The introduction piqued my interest from the beginning: Austria is not a well known country, but how many people know that it is one of the most prosperous countries in Europe, and that it has one of the lowest crime rates in the world? The Habsburgs were for the most part undistinguished rulers, and it remains a mystery to me how they could have ruled over such a broad swath of Europe for such a long time. The debacle of the Anschluss is something most Austrians have laboriously tried to forget; the author takes them to task for this, but perhaps this is not really such a bad thing. I for one am more than willing to accord the Austrian people the respect they have earned and deserve.
An excellent book for a difficult and complex topic. Some of the sections of the book are difficult to read through, a bit boring as the text addresses wars, leaders and economy. But where the book shines is in the later chapters about the 20th century. Here the author relates to history to understanding the people of Austria, and how the feudal past, alignment with Germany in WWII, and the history of different regions has shaped who they are as people today.
A well-written review of the history of Austria. It covers the entire history, from the stone age to the turn of the millennium and gives reasonable coverage to the period before Franz Joseph I. The book deals particularly well with the issue of Austrian national identity and ends with a very reasonable discussion of how Austria's multi-ethnic history and traditions should guide its future.
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