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Vienna Book Recommendations

It might be a good idea to prepare yourself for your stay in Vienna - should it be just a short or a long-term stay, either way. A very good possibility to gain valuable insights into this marvellous city and its history is through one of these recommended books.

Vienna A Cultural History

From border garrison of the Roman Empire to magnificent Baroque seat of the Hapsburgs, Vienna´s fortunes swung between survival and expansion. By the late nineteenth century it had become the western capital of the sprawling Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, but the twentieth century saw it degraded to a "hydrocephalus" cut off from its former economic hinterland. After the inglorious Nazi interlude, Vienna began the long climb back to the prosperous and cultivated city of 1.7 million inhabitants that it is today. Subjected to constant infusions of new, Vienna has both assimilated and resisted cultural influences from outside, creating its own sui generis culture.

Only in Vienna

A comprehensive illustrated guide to more than 80 fascinating and unusual historical sights in one of Europe's great capital cities. Hidden courtyards, mysterious cellars, little-known museums and forgotten cemeteries. The Holy lance, the Fools' Tower, Klimt's last studio and the secret of dreams. James Bond, Montezuma, Harry Lime and the Tattooed Lady. Recommended for visitors to Vienna wishing to discover something a little different, as well as for those inhabitants who perhaps thought they already knew the city.

Fin-De-Siecle Vienna Politics and Culture

A landmark book from one of the truly original scholars of our time: a magnificent revelation of turn-of-the-century Vienna where out of a crisis of political and social disintegration so much of modern art and thought was born.
"Not only is it a splendid exploration of several aspects of early modernism in their political context; it is an indicator of how the discipline of intellectual history is currently practiced by its most able and ambitious craftsmen. It is also a moving vindication of historical study itself, in the face of modernism´s defiant suggestion that history is obsolete."
(David A. Hollinger, History Book Club Review)
"Each of [the seven separate studies] can be read separately... Yet they are so artfully designed and integrated that one who reads them in order is impressed by the book´s wholeness and the momentum of its argument."
(Gordon A. Craig, The New Republic)

The Austrians A Thousand-Year Odyssey

Austria has always been a borderland, a collision point of cultures and politics. Surveying its story over the centuries, Brook-Shepherd brings the experience of long residence in Austria plus authorship of numerous books on specific episodes of Austrian history to chronicle the dynastic fortunes of the Hapsburgs, who, perched in the middle of the Danube basin, had to fend off invaders coming upriver (the Turks) or downriver (Protestants and later the French). Over time, the Hapsburgs assembled a remarkable multinational empire, with impossibly complicated constitutional arrangements whose evolution Brook-Shepherd nevertheless manages to make clear. But the flames of nationalism, the Serbian candle of which the Austrians recklessly attempted to snuff out in 1914, burned down the whole creaky edifice. The author then devotes great detail to Austria´s unhappy experience through 1945 and its rehabilitation since then. A solidly informative and well-written work.

Vienna A Doctors Guide

"The streets of Vienna are paved with history of medicine," the famous Viennese writer and journalist Karl Kraus could have said. In fact, an attentive visitor can´t move through the city without being reminded by all the street names, historical buildings, monuments or memorial stones that Vienna has been a capital of medicine where students and doctors from all over the world came to learn. This city guide is meant for all the visitors of this fascinating city, who are interested in the history of medicine. 15 walks through the city show the reader the traces of the old medical Vienna: the Fools´ Tower, Freud´s private practice and apartment, the workplaces of many famous physicians, through the Old General Hospital, the old university, or the most important pathological museums. Many unknown details and anecdotes are included as well as a short history of Vienna and some gourmet tips and the famous Viennese coffee shops for relaxing.

Vienna Architecture And Design

Viennas once exalted status as the showpiece of an empire is reflected in the elegance and monumentality of its architecture. But behind and beyond the stately facades, design innovations are transforming interiors and resulting in exciting new residential and commercial buildings being constructed at the citys edges. This user-friendly little guide profiles some of the most notable projects built during the last few years and includes colour photographs and a site map. Another in teNeues´ authoritative series of pocket guides to recent architecture in cities around the world. Includes color photographs and a site map for easy use by tourists and professionals alike.

A History of the Habsburg Empire 1526-1918

"The permanent affiliation of the Habsburg dynasty, the ruling house in the German Alpine hereditary lands, with the lands of the Bohemian and Hungarain-Croatian crowns in 1526-1527 initiates the beginning of the history of these realms as an over-all political entity." (taken from the first page of this book)
Robert Kann was a Viennese Professor of History who taught at several American universities during his career. He was a recognized authority in his field, and this volume is one of the very best general histories of the Habsburg Monarchy currently in print. However, it was written in Professor Kann's second language, English; so the reading is choppy at times. In addition, the subject matter is extremely complex; so if you are expecting a page-turner, this may not be for you. Overall, if you want to know about the last 400 years of the Habsburgs, there are few better sources.

Vienna 1683 Christian Europe Repels the Ottomans

The capture of the Hapsburg city of Vienna was a major strategic aspiration for the Islamic Ottoman Empire, desperate for the control that the city exercised over the Danube and the overland trade routes between southern and northern Europe. In July 1683 Sultan Mehmet IV proclaimed a jihad and the Turkish grand vizier, Kara Mustafa Pasha, laid siege to the city with an army of 150,000 men. In September a relieving force arrived under Polish command and joined up with the defenders to drive the Turks away. The main focus of this book is the final 15-hour battle for Vienna, which climaxed with a massive charge by three divisions of Polish winged hussars. This hard-won victory marked the beginning of the decline of the Islamic Ottoman Empire, which was never to threaten central Europe again.

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