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A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh…

A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh and the Problems of Peace,…

by Henry A. Kissinger

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First a word on this publication of Kissinger's classical work by Literary Licensing. It is apparently based on a photoreproduction of the original 1957 publication by Houghton Mifflin. Unfortunately, the photocopy, while dark enough to retain the text, is not dark enough to retain the punctuation. So this is over 300 pages of very dense and complex writing without commas, semicolons , or full stops.

The fact that I actually read over 300 pages under these circumstances is probably a testament to the subject matter rather than to the writing skill of Kissinger. I have been reading a lot lately about Napoleon and the Napoleonic Wars, and was naturally wondering what happened after Napoleon was finally sent off to St. Helena. It turns out that the period was dominated by two statesmen: Metternich, Austria's foreign minister, and Castlereagh, the English foreign minister. Metternich had the toughest hand to play in representing a centrally-located, polyglot Empire that was just ripe for disintegration in an era when liberalism and nationalism were on the rise everywhere. Castlereagh, on the other hand, was an advocate for a European union while representing a country that didn't want anything to do with Europe. Working under such long odds, it is amazing that the two men achieved a structure for Europe that brought peace for at least a couple of generations. Kissinger does a great job of describing how Metternich was able to exert dominance over the Tsar and the King of Prussia to convince them that inaction was the best course for those nations when they could have easily taken steps that would have destroyed the Austrian Empire. Castlereagh is the tragic figure on whom Metternich relied in order to get the support he needed to exercise his diplomacy. This book proves that a historical period of peace can be as interesting as a period of conflict. ( )
  ninefivepeak | Dec 21, 2013 |
One of my most favorite reads as an undergraduate history major. ( )
  ElnEm | Aug 13, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0395172292, Paperback)

The Napoleonic Wars were followed by an almost unprecedented century of political stability. A World Restored analyses the alliances formed and treaties signed by the world's leaders during the years 1812 to 1822, focussing on the personalities of the two main negotiators: Viscount Castlereagh, the British foreign secretary, and Prince von Metter- nich, his Austrian counterpart. Henry Kissinger explains how the turbulent relationship between these two men, the differing concerns of their respective countries and the changing nature of diplomacy all influenced the final shape of the peace. Originally published in 1957.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:03 -0400)

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This is a case study of the task of constructing a new international order following Napoleon's defeat in Russia in 1812, which fell particularly on the shoulders of the Austrian foreign minister Prince Metternich and the British foreign secretary Viscount Castlereagh.… (more)

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