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The Austrians: A Thousand-Year Odyssey

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Who are the Austrians and what is their significance as a nation? Are they the heirs of composers such as Mozart and Schubert, of revolutionary thinkers such as Freud and Wittgenstein, or of politicians such as Hitler and Kurt Waldheim? To what extent have the Austrians come to terms with their Nazi past, as opposed to the Germans? Is their future founded in the Holy Roman ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published February 15th 1998 by Basic Books (first published January 1996)
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3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  98 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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Jaroslav Tuček
As an overview of Austrian history - which both the book's subtitle and description seem to promise - The Austrians resoundingly disappoints. The first thousand years, until the reign of Franz Joseph I are rushed over in a couple of pages with almost all details left out. For example, here is the entire coverage of the War of Austrian Succession:

"There is no need to recount here how the young and inexperienced empress survived the onslaught on her inheritance which was now lavished by those same
Lauren Albert
The book is marred by two things--one is the obvious bias against Austria and the Austrians which is odd in light of the second--his ego as it shows in his mentions at the beginning and in footnotes of his personal relationship with some of the prominent players. He can't say that he learned something at a concert of a composer but must say that he learned it at a "private" concert at his own home. The bias is all over the place--here are some representative examples:

"classic case of Austrian mu
Aug 07, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Over all not great, it covered 1000 years and almost every step of the way I get they shifted topic just as it was going interesting. Part of the problem is that it may be called a thousand year Odyssey but half the book is about the 20th century and the quarter before was the 19th leaving the first quarter to cover the balance. So if you want to know about Austria in the 19th and 20th century it’s a good read, if you want their full history keep looking.
Iván Camilo
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brendan Steinhauser
This excellent book covers Austrian history, self identity, and political culture over the centuries. It focuses mainly on the 19th and early 20th centuries, when the Austrian empire was beginning its decline. The author does a good job explaining the tensions between the various nationalities within the empire (Germans, Czechs, Magyars, Slovenes, etc.) but he also helps the reader understand the tension between Austria and the German empire / Germany. He explores the Austrians' "Germanness" and ...more
Billy Connard
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my hobbies is doing family research. I was looking for a book that would give me some background info on the area. This book was more then helpful. Very informative.
Yeongbae K
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading the book. I knew a little bit about the Habsburg Empire. Now, I know how it contributes to Austria's history. It is interesting how such an empire managed to exist for so long.

Eben DuRoss
Agree with last reviews. Very comprehensive. Light on early Austria.
Jul 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My attempt to read this is turning into a thousand-year odyssey.
Peter Sørensen
A very interesting story about the History of, not just Austria, but the whole of Europe. Also a valuable insight in to how the apocalypse of the two world wars came about.
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Gordon Brook-Shepherd (1918-2004) was a British historian and journalist, best known for his work on the history of central and eastern Europe.