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The Congress of Vienna: A Study in Allied Unity: 1812-1822

by Harold Nicolson

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225585,861 (3.92)4
In 1812, at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, a congress convened in Vienna in which the fate of Europe was to be determined for the next hundred years. Attending were the great statesmen of the time -- the wily French foreign minister, Talleyrand; his brave but misguided British counterpart, Lord Castlereagh; the conservative Austrian chancellor, Prince Metternich; and the idealistic but unstable tsar Alexander. Beginning with Napoleon's harrowing retreat from Moscow, the pace of the narrative holds throughout the negotiations in the Austrian capital, where the power struggle to both restore a lost world and ensure a stable future took place. Harold Nicolson's classic is narrative history at its best. "With swift pace, clear focus and a series of brilliant character sketches, this is narrative history at its best." -- The New York Times… (more)



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This book is NOT a gripping read; however, if you want to know about the establishment of modern Europe, and particularly, the British involvement therein, then this is a must read.

Nicolson must have researched extensively for this authoritative and informative book. It is well served by a plethora of notes which would make it ideal for the serious student but, leaving the in depth stuff alone, it acts as an ideal book for the interested amateur too.

Although, I have nothing with which to compare this work, to confirm its veracity, I am convinced by its representation of a group of diplomats all fighting in part for their country but equally, for their personal kudos. I was long intrigued by the contempt of Shelly and Byron for Lord Castlereagh: I can see, from this description, why he would not be the sort of man to appeal to their avant-garde outlook on life. ( )
  the.ken.petersen | Dec 4, 2017 |
The Congress of Vienna, written in 1945, is still by far the best book on this subject. It also gives a good insight in the workings of diplomacy and is very direct and open about the characters of the main players. On top of this it is very well written. ( )
  Hiensch | Aug 28, 2014 |
ESSENCE OF HISTORY!! FANTASTIC!! SUPER. Keep this with 'The Great Duke' by A. Bryant. They go together. SEL ( )
1 vote sterlingelanier | Sep 9, 2013 |
Interesante ensayo sobre el sistema naval español durante el siglo XVI. España, una de las tres potencias globales que han sido en la historia de la humanidad, fue la primera a la que se le planteo el problema de armar un sistema de flotas que asegurara su hegemonía y protegiera su comercio a lo ancho de los vastos océanos recién descubiertos. A diferencia de las posteriores potencias globales (Reino Unido y EE.UU.) el primer sistema de armadas español no fue permanente ni estuvo sufragado enteramente por el estado, se trato de un sistema intermitente, según necesidad, que era sufragado por la corona y por los particulares con intereses en el comercio de la Carrera de Indias.

Un buen libro que despertará el interés de aquellos aficionados a los temas navales o al funcionamiento de la corona española en sus años de hegemonía. ( )
1 vote raperper | Aug 2, 2012 |
2273 The Congress of Vienna A study in Allied Unity:1812-1822, by Harold Nicolson (read 4 Mar 1990) This book was published in 1946, when I first heard of it, though not till now have I read it. It is a masterful work, just detailed and perspicacious enough to make it superlative reading. It covers the period from 1812 through the Congress of Vienna and to 1822. It tends to concentrate on Castlereigh, who was Britain's representative at the Congress till Feb 1815 and was Foreign Minister till his suicide on Aug 12, 1822, when he cut his throat from ear to ear with a small penknife. There is nothing unfavorable to say about this perfect book, which illuminates the period and makes it seem supremely interesting. I really enjoyed this book--I should read anything else Nicolson has written. I read two other books by him before I read this one, but this was by far the best of the three. Just very well-done! ( )
1 vote Schmerguls | Jun 9, 2008 |
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