The Austrians: A Thousand-year Odyssey

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9780002553841: The Austrians: A Thousand-year Odyssey

A thousand years of European history are passed through the prism of the Austrian experience. The chief factors which have smothered national development throughout - loyalty to a supranational dynasty and confusion over their Germanic roots - are traced right down to modern times. The Austrian nationality as such was created as recently as 1918 when the Austro-Hungarian Habsburg empire collapsed at the end of World War I. For centuries, the Austrians had been the privileged servants of the dynasty, like the stewards of some vast family estate. Already troubled by the question "is there such a thing as an Austrian or are we simply a south German branch of the great Teutonic race?", they were quickly faced by a new crisis of identity when the Austrian Adolf Hitler merged them into the "Thousand Year Reich" with Germany.

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From the Back Cover:

Austria stands at the heart of Europe, but despite the Austrians’ long history their nation state has only existed since the fall of the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918. For centuries they struggled to find their own identity, against the pull of multi-national Danubian traditions on the one hand and racial German ties on the other. Who are the Austrians? To what extent have they come to terms with their recent past, notably Hitler's 'Anschluss' and the Waldheim affair? And what will they bring to their new role as members of a united Europe?

Gordon Brook-Shepherd has witnessed much of Austria's post-war history himself, first as a soldier and then as a foreign correspondent based in Vienna. He has had access to private Hapsburg family archives, and has personally known several of Austria's Chancellors. The result is a unique blend of academic research and political experience.

‘Brook-Shepherd knows more about Austria and the Austrians than any living Englishman… And written with a verve and style now too rarely seen, this book is a delight to read… a sustained tour de force, the best written and most lively account of modern Austria available anywhere.’
ANDREW WHEATCROFT, 'Sunday Times'

‘A very enjoyable book, with a wealth of detail and some wonderful insights… good turns of phrase and a rattling pace.’
ADAM ZAMOYSKI, 'Evening Standard'

‘A most readable and in every way readable book’
CHARLES CHEVENIX TRENCH, 'Irish Independent'

‘Excellent… great narrative verve’
SIMON HEFFER, 'Daily Mail'

About the Author:

Gordon Brook-Shepherd has witnessed much of Austria’s post-war history himself, first as a soldier and then as a foreign correspondent based in Vienna. He has had access to private Hapsburg family archives, and has personally known several of Austria’s Chancellors.

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Brook-Shepherd, Gordon
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Brook-Shepherd, Gordon
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Book Description HarperCollins,, London, England, 1996. Hard Cover/Good/Sehr Gute. Book Condition: Good/Used/Ex-Library, Dust Jacket Condition: Good/Illustrated/Mylar Cover. 1st Edition Hardcover, This rather weighty volume is an Ex-Library Copy that appears to have been very lightly used. Usual library residue. B&W photos. Every person, ato some point in their life, should have an opportunity to spend at least one day in Vienna, Austria (Osterreich). Located in the heat of Europe and home, at one point to the largest Empire in the world, Austiran history, culture and life is both complex , spectacular and tragic. Austria's imperial history is remarkable both because of its rise and because of its collapse. A truly fine analysis of a great country. Bookseller Inventory # 006599

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