The Habsburg Empire

  • by Pieter M. Judson
  • Narrated by Michael Page
  • 18 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In a panoramic and pioneering reappraisal, Pieter M. Judson shows why the Habsburg Empire mattered so much, for so long, to millions of Central Europeans.
Rejecting fragmented histories of nations in the making, this bold revision surveys the shared institutions that bridged difference and distance to bring stability and meaning to the far-flung empire. By supporting new schools, law courts, and railroads along with scientific and artistic advances, the Habsburg monarchs sought to anchor their authority in the cultures and economies of Central Europe. A rising standard of living throughout the empire deepened the legitimacy of Habsburg rule, as citizens learned to use the empire's administrative machinery to their local advantage. Nationalists developed distinctive ideas about cultural difference in the context of imperial institutions, yet all of them claimed the Habsburg state as their empire.
The empire's creative solutions to governing its many lands and peoples - as well as the intractable problems it could not solve - left an enduring imprint on its successor states in Central Europe. Its lessons remain no less important today.

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What the Critics Say

"[A] subtly argued work of deep scholarship.... A nuanced scholarly reappraisal of a significant European empire." (Kirkus Reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Ideal for students of empires, nationalism, minorities and ethnic groups

This book is an academic book, written in academic language. Terms in vogue with professional historians such as 'agency' appear frequently. It may be somewhat dense for some who are seeking a general overview of the Habsburg Empire, but it is an excellent and thought provoking book for those who are studying or researching in this or related fields. I highly recommend it, especially for those interested in imperialism and nationalism in other parts of the world.
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- Uther

This book is like drinking polyethylene glycol...

... it tastes awful but if you a are lucky you find out you don't have cancer.
The true title should be the administration of the Habsburg empire. Saying the topic is dry is an understatement and the author brings no life, nor humanity to the topic.
First the book starts pretty much at Mary Therese, so Spain, the thirty years war, the empire at its furthest reach not dealt with.
I think I reached a peak of irritation when the Habsburg empire suddenly became the dual monarchy Austria and Hungary. No why no how just poof now lets delve in the new bureaucratic parameters. I did learn that Hungary was really too much for the Habsburg empire to assimilate and eventually caused its perdition. Undeniably the topic was thoroughly researched.
I slugged it out to the bitter end only because I wanted hear about the death of the empire, the death of this story and because I paid for this book.
I Mean I just finished reading Mark Kurlansky's book Salt and it was fascinating, enjoyable sometimes even funny yes a book about salt was more captivating than a book about the Habsburgs. It takes some kind of talent.
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- Sebastian

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-25-2017
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio