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The Austrian Mind: An Intellectual and Social History, 1848-1938
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The Austrian Mind: An Intellectual and Social History, 1848-1938

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  35 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Title: Austrian Mind Binding: Paperback Author: Johnston, William M. Publisher: University Press Group Ltd
Published March 23rd 1983 by University of California Press (first published January 1st 1972)
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John David
Johnston makes a concerted effort to leave absolutely no stone unturned. He begins with a brief adumbration of the history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, emphasizing its frivolity, decadence, and rampant materialism, especially among the nobility. The kind of bureaucracy that we associate with the writings of Karl Kraus and Kafka were only too real for Austrians, a mixture of both uniformity and indolence, or as Johnston says, “absolutism mitigated by Schlamperei.” He includes sections on both ...more
May 12, 2008 lisa_emily rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fin de siecle viennaphiles
Shelves: vienna-history
Very dense essay-like chapters on various aspects of Viennese life at the turn of the century. Pretty smooth read considering its heft, covers the political, intellectual, economic and cultural mileu.
"So hat Johnston 35 Essays aus der Feder von 25 bedeutender aber teilweise auch vergessener Essayisten zwischen 1910 und 1967 zusammengestellt, um den Beginn der österreichischen Identitätssuche abzubilden. Unter diesen Essayisten finden sich auch große Namen wie Robert Musil, Franz Werfel, Rainer Maria Rilke, Hermann Bahr, Hans Prager, Hugo von Hofmannsthal oder auch Friedrich Heer, von denen Johnston teils in Vergessenheit geratene Texte für seine Studie herangezogen hat."

Im Schlußwort gibt de
Lauren Albert
This book was a serious struggle for me and I did end up skimming a lot. Like John says in his review (below) there is no overarching theme holding the book together and Johnston gives brief expositions of different thinkers which assumes a lot of prior knowledge. There is also very little social history. The index is poor with (as many books seem to have) a focus on mostly proper names which makes it difficult for the reader to look up general concepts that were (maybe?) introduced and defined ...more
This is the best monograph on the development of Central European thought in the 19th Century. One can read about the development of socialist theory, sociological theory, economic theory, and the development of fascism, all in one book.
It is hard to say anything about this encyclopedic, informative, and stimulating study without resorting to superlatives. Suffice to say that is filled with detail, remarkably accurate and exceptionally lucid.
May 06, 2013 AC is currently reading it
If 'Vienna, Vienna' is any guide, this one might be very good...
Eric K.
Nov 15, 2007 Eric K. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: historians of the Hapsburg Empire
Astoundingly erudite and comprehensive.
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