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Vienna and the Fall of the Habsburg Empire: Total War and Everyday Life in… (2004)

by Maureen Healy

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This is one of those books where there is more to the study then the title suggests. While it's not news that the Austro-Hungarian state was a brittle structure, Healey takes one through the process of how the lack of a dynamic sense of Austrian citizenship and the increasing privation that Vienna's inhabitants were subjected to helped create an all-against-all mentality. An outlook that overwhelmed the ideal of patriarchal authority that animated the greater Austrian state; even if that state collapsed more from exhaustion than from violence.

Further, in the process of literally engendering the social conflicts that engulfed Vienna, Healy makes note of how these domestic conflicts drove the dynamic of post-war Vienna. Besides the soldiers who were unable to achieve psychological demobilization, and who thus brought the violence of the front back home to their families and communities, there was also a civilian population that never had the chance to decompress from the impact of the war, with dire consequences for the post-Habsburg Austrian state. ( )
  Shrike58 | Oct 25, 2009 |
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Full title (2004): Vienna and the fall of the Habsburg Empire : total war and everyday life in World War I / Maureen Healy; Dissertation that won Fraenkel Prize had title: Vienna Falling: Total War and Everyday Life, 1914 –1918.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0521042194, Paperback)

Maureen Healy traces the fall of the Habsburg Empire during World War I from the perspective of everyday life in the capital city. She argues that the home front in Europe's first "total war" was marked by civilian conflict in streets, shops, schools, entertainment venues and apartment buildings. While Habsburg armies waged military campaigns on distant fronts, women, children, and "left at home" men waged a protracted, socially devastating war against one another. The book will appeal to those interested in modern Europe and the history of the Great War.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:55 -0400)

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