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Look Inside Vienna and the Fall of the Habsburg Empire

Vienna and the Fall of the Habsburg Empire
Total War and Everyday Life in World War I


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Part of Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare

  • Date Published: October 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521042192

£ 41.99

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About the Authors
  • Maureen Healy examines the collapse of the Habsburg Empire from the perspective of everyday life in the capital city. She argues that a striking feature of 'total war' on the home front was the spread of a war mentality to the mundane sites of everyday life - streets, shops, schools, entertainment venues and apartment buildings. While Habsburg armies waged military campaigns on distant fronts, Viennese civilians (women, children, and men 'left at home') waged a protracted, socially devastating war against one another. Vienna's multi-ethnic population lived together in conditions of severe material shortage and faced near-starvation by 1917. The city fell into civilian mutiny before the state collapsed in 1918. Based on meticulous archival research, including citizens' letters to state authorities, the study offers a penetrating look at Habsburg citizenship by showing how ordinary women, men and children conceived of 'Austria' in the Empire's final years.

    • A penetrating look at Habsburg citizenship, showing how ordinary men and women conceived of 'Austria' in the Empire's final years
    • Portrays women and children as active agents in war, rather than passive objects of state policy
    • Draws upon wartime citizens' letters to state authorities
    Read more


    • Winner of the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize awarded by the American Historical Association

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Professor Healy's book is of interest to both the casual reader and the serious student of World War I. It must also be added that the social historian will be more than intrigued with this volume … Healy systematically, and in a very readable form, dissects the threads of discontent which eventually lead to the civilian rebellion in Vienna … Professor Healy highlights a number of significant points is this excellent book … What is presented here is a detailed study of civilian life in a situation of total war. Their fears, hopes and perceptions are clearly and carefully analysed. It is a book that will be frequently referred to and case study after case study will be quoted.' Open History

    'This is a meticulously and masterfully researched book … the book marks an important and excellent contribution.' H-Soz-u-Kult

    '… a powerful, analytically rich study that convincingly reveals the critical role played by ordinary, hungry people in the demise of the Habsburg Monarchy.' Australian Studies

    'I think it is a wonderful piece of scholarship. It radiates imagination and insight on every page, whether the subject is food riots or the image of the 'imperial father' … it represents a superb, exciting addition to the fast-growing cultural history of the First World War.' Roger Chickering, Georgetown University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521042192
    • length: 352 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • contains: 20 b/w illus. 5 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of plates
    List of maps, figures and tables
    List of abbreviations
    Part I. Politics and Representation:
    1. Food and the politics of sacrifice
    2. Entertainment, propaganda and the Vienna War Exhibition of 1916–17
    3. Censorship, rumours and denunciation: the crisis of truth on the home front
    Part II. State and Family:
    4. Sisterhood and citizenship: 'Austria's women' in wartime Vienna
    5. Mobilizing Austria's children for total war
    6. The 'fatherless society': home-front men and imperial paternalism

  • Author

    Maureen Healy, Oregon State University
    MAUREEN HEALY is Assistant Professor in the Department of History, Oregon State University. She was the winner of the Fraenkel Prize from the Wiener Library and Institute of Contemporary History, London, 2000.


    • Winner of the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize awarded by the American Historical Association
    • Winner of the Barbara Jelavich Book Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies

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