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A Concise History of Austria


  • 54 b/w illus. 8 maps
  • Page extent: 352 pages
  • Size: 216 x 138 mm
  • Weight: 0.588 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 943.6
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: DB38 .B395 2006
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Austria--History

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521473057)

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.

• An integrated illustrated account of Austria's history, politics, society, economy and culture • Illustrated by many photographs and maps which illuminate the text • Places Austrian history in the broader context of Central European history


Introduction; 1. The Eastern March, 1439; 2. A.E.I.O.U., 1439–1740; 3. Countering reform, 1740–1866; 4. Empire on notice, 1866–1918; 5. The land without qualities, 1918–1945; 6. Austria Inc., from 1945; Conclusion; Guide to further reading.


'Steven Beller's history of Austria is not only concise - it is also incisive, witty and engaging … Both tough and fair, but never insipidly nostalgic, in his assessments of the Austrian experience, Beller succeeds in highlighting the country's paradoxical and ambiguous role as both a foil to, and a distillation of, the broader patterns of European history.' Aviel Roshwald, Georgetown University

'Written in a lively and compelling style … an authoritative single-volume history of Austria … recommend[ed] to undergraduate students (at all levels) as introductory general reading.' Dr Janet Stewart, University of Aberdeen

'… the authors has successfully risen to the original challenge of being concise … the author has managed to write no simply a concise history, but also an interpretive one that can serve as a starting point for stimulating argument.' Journal of Austrian History Yearbook

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