Erik Graff's Reviews > The Habsburg Monarchy c. 1765-1918: From Enlightenment to Eclipse

The Habsburg Monarchy c. 1765-1918 by Robin Okey
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's review
Nov 08, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: history
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Recommended for: persons interested in Austria-Hungary and the Yugoslavs
Read in March, 2008 — I own a copy , read count: 1

I've previously only read one book about the Austro-Hungarian state, The Eagle Has Fallen, and a lot of books about its south slav appendages. Otherwise, I'm pretty ignorant and was hoping to get a sense of the world in which so many of the authors I admire (Freud, Wittgenstein, Kafka etc.) inhabited. It does that in its way, but it was almost over my head.

This is not a fun book. This is a serious history written by a serious, and very competent (he works in very many of the original languages of that polyglot empire) historian. Expect a lot of professional asides as Okey covers the commen historiographical issues which have come up in the study of Austro-Hungary. Also, expect a lot of well-documented hard facts, a lot of economic and social statistics. By the standards of the profession, this is a magisterial work. By popular standards, it is dry-as-dust. Having thought myself a history major once, years ago, in college, I have to weigh in for the competence and give it four stars.
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