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The Habsburgs: Embodying Empire [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Andrew Wheatcroft
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Kurzbeschreibung

27. September 2012
The Habsburgs have been described at one extreme as demons - responsible for a 'long history of atrocities'; and, at the other, as dodos - living fossils unable to adapt to the modern world. In reality, the flamboyant royal family appear, in many ways, to have behaved much like most other monarchies. Their story, however, is none the less enthralling for that. It is populated by such unforgettable figures as mad Queen Juana, progressing through Spain with her husband's decaying body; the 'heroically fertile' Maria Theresa, and the quixotic Maximilian, 'Emperor' of Mexico.

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 432 Seiten
  • Verlag: Penguin; Auflage: Revised. (27. September 2012)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0140236341
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140236347
  • Vom Hersteller empfohlenes Alter: Ab 18 Jahren
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 19,8 x 13 x 2,8 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 251.500 in Englische Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Englische Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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Synopsis

The Habsburgs have been described at one extreme as demons - responsible for a 'long history of atrocities'; and, at the other, as dodos - living fossils unable to adapt to the modern world. In reality, the flamboyant royal family appear, in many ways, to have behaved much like most other monarchies. Their story, however, is none the less enthralling for that. It is populated by such unforgettable figures as mad Queen Juana, progressing through Spain with her husband's decaying body; the 'heroically fertile' Maria Theresa; and, the quixotic Maximilian, 'Emperor' of Mexico.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Andrew Wheatcroft has written and lectured widely on European and Middle Eastern history. His books include The Ottomans and The Hapsburgs.

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On a day of stifling heat late in June 1386 the little town of Brugg was thronged to capacity with armed men. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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Kundenrezensionen

2.0 von 5 Sternen
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Something of a missed opportunity 8. März 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Taschenbuch
Towards the end of the book, the author states that he has consciously chosen to focus on symbolism rather than on the more usual subjects of Hapsburg history. Fair enough, and the book indeed offers some insights into how the Hapsburgs saw themselves as reflected by the way they are portrayed in the paintings and books discused. However, the casual reader who is more interested in the more conventional aspects of history should be warned: you are not going to learn much about the events of the times, the individual personalities of many of the Hapsburgs or get much of a feel for whether particular rulers were good or evil, wise or demented, successful or failures. [And the blurb on the jacket is downright misleading where it tantalizes you into thinking that you'll get some entertaining tales of Habsburg eccentricity, such as Juana the Mad touring around Spain with her dead husband's coffin: Mr. Wheatcroft doesn't discuss that story]. I have to agree with another reviewer that Mr. Wheatcroft can tell a good story when he wants, and does so early in the book with that of Leopold III's campaign against the Swiss. For that reason, I think that the choice of focus represents something of a missed opportunity. You cannot buy this book and, after reading it, feel that you have a solid feel the history of the times that it covers. You'll have to buy a second book. If you don't mind that, by all means buy this one too. If, however, you want to buy only one book on the Hapsburgs, you probably would want something else.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen This work was very poorly edited. 23. Januar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Taschenbuch
I began reading this book eagerly because there aren't very many books in English which attempt to cover the entire history of the Habsburgs from Rudolf I down to the present. There is much interesting detail about many of the early Habsburgs, particularly Duke Leopold III. Unfortunately, the careless editing of the book leads me to distrust much that is presented as fact. As they say, "The devil's in the details." At least one of the illustrations (a famous painting of Charles V) was printed in mirror image - a careless mistake. There are several differences between the dates presented in the genealogical tables at the back of the book and the dates presented in the text and the illustration descriptions. All-in-all, this is not a book to rely on for correct details. The author also glossed over the gross physical appearance of the family members. Emperor Leopold I is referred to by coin collectors as "Leopold the Hogmouth," because of his profile on coins of the era, but that nickname isn't in this book. Ever since I first read of the "Habsburg lip," I have always wondered why paintings of the era depict the Habsburg men with deformed lower jaws, but the women are relatively normal looking. I suspect the painters "lied" and the Habsburg women must have been so dreadful looking nobody except their cousins would marry them. This "alternate theory" of why the Habsburgs only married members of their own family was not explored by the author. However, some of the narrative is interesting and flows smoothly, but because the author jumps around so much, interrupting the narrative flow to present information from other times, the book is difficult reading. Not recommended for a first read on the subject.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen good basic overall look at habsburgs 25. September 1999
Format:Taschenbuch
very good information on the early lineage of habsburgs, that are not covered in modern history. not a great deal of information of the habsburgs who went on to romania and other parts of the austrian-hungarian empire through marriage. this book and "Fall of the House of Habsburg" does not give enough weight to the to the ability of this empire to keep together the balkans for over 100 years. and both books do not address the misery of the splits in the former empire.the current ethic,regional, and spiritual wars. a decent read, but i hope that a scholar of a/h would write a positive book on their achievements and its relation to the current situation in the balkans. this book is a good addition to a library of european history. a good read and another part of what created modern europe.
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Amazon.com: 3.5 von 5 Sternen  26 Rezensionen
88 von 92 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting theory though hardly unique. 14. November 2002
Von "klek1999" - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Many positive things have been said about this book (mostly valid) so I'll just jump to three sticking points which potential readers should keep in mind before buying it.
1.This book asserts that the Habsburgs consciously created and manipulated their own families mythology to a degree unseen in Europe. This is greatly misleading for it forgets (unbelievably) the other great mythology making machines around at the time (the Medici's in Florence, the Bourbons in France and so on).
2.Though the Habsburgs did manipulate their image via various means it cannot be stated with the certainty with which Wheatcroft does that it was a conscious family project from the days of Rudolf I (1218-1291). Certainly it preoccupied his later descendents but Rudoplf and his immediate progeny were simply behaving in a pattern familiar to most rulers of the time.
3. I must also stress that the book is not an easy read, mostly due to the fact that the author jumps around the historic timeline and throws in a few dozen Hapsburg names (some with no numbers attached which can be really confusing seeing as the Habsburgs shared names profusely) to confuse things even more. I also disliked the references made to figures of whom we know nothing about and who the author says nothing about.
Oh and this is not a history of the rulers themselves but rather a book on how the Habsburgs manipulated their image down the centuries. Do not buy it if you want to find out about individual rulers achievements, acts etc. Very little of that can be found in this book.
48 von 54 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting ideas, but execution could have been better 1. April 2001
Von J. G. Heiser - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
This book is not a history of Austria-as the title indicates, it is a history of the Habsburgs, the hereditary rulers of Austria. As I mentioned in my review of Brook-Shepherd's book, "The Austrians" (a book that is complementary to this one, with relatively little overlap), there really isn't a great deal of material available in English on Austrian history-at least not on events taking place before the latter half of the 19th century.
From the traditional historical point of view-that in which history is the chronology recounting of war and changes in power-nothing of significance really happened in Austria that wasn't somehow associated with the Habsburgs. Whether or not this is the case is the subject of a different book-the subject of this one is the Habsburg family itself. Although their presence lasted longer in Austria than anywhere else, this powerful family also ruled the Netherlands, and Spain, and often provided the figurehead for the Holy Roman Empire.
Probably to an extent greater than any other royal house, the Habsburgs had their greatest successes not on the battlefield, but in the bedroom. They married their way to what at one point was the largest empire in the world, encompassing not only the majority of the German-speaking lands, but also the Lowlands, the Iberian peninsula, and the Spanish territories in North and South America, and Asia. Quite a feat for a dynasty that had been chased out of their hereditary home and namesake 300 years earlier by pitchfork-wielding Swiss peasants. The Habsburg story is more concerned with the issues of power than it is with warfare, which often went quite badly for them.
Given a unique and interesting subject, the author takes a somewhat non-traditional approach. As he explains in the preface "More and more I found that the Habsburgs expressed their sense of missions and their objectives obliquely, through a kind of code." Wheatcroft attempts to show how the Habsburgs manipulated symbolism and other communication mechanisms to further their goals and to set themselves apart as the unquestionable lords of Central Europe. I think the author is only partially successful in this, although I found nothing in his approach that seemed unreasonable. Several of the author's explanations have been useful to me in interpreting symbolism that can still be seen today in Austria, such as the designation "K.K" and the gilded presence of the Order of the Golden Fleece on statues and paintings (This was a chivalric order borrowed from the Burgundians when they didn't need it any longer giving the Habsburgs an opportunity to run their own good ole boys club.)
On the negative side, I found the book difficult to read. While the subject matter certainly lends itself to confusion, dealing with an inbred family that unimaginatively reused the same names over and over again, sometimes with different numbers in different contexts for the same ruler, perhaps the author could have used a more straightforward outline. The book tends to spiral a bit, mixing up events taking place at different times in order to make a point about continuity and a repeating pattern of Habsburg behavior. I finally dog-eared the family trees appearing in the Appendix so that I could flip back to them in an attempt to keep all the cousins, nieces, and nephews straight.
This is not a traditional history. While I don't feel that the author necessarily builds totally plausible case for his conception of the Habsburgs as being Europe's premier power of propaganda, I do think that he offers genuine and useful insight. I question the execution more than the concept, which I think has some validity.
15 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Something of a missed opportunity 8. März 2000
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Towards the end of the book, the author states that he has consciously chosen to focus on symbolism rather than on the more usual subjects of Hapsburg history. Fair enough, and the book indeed offers some insights into how the Hapsburgs saw themselves as reflected by the way they are portrayed in the paintings and books discused. However, the casual reader who is more interested in the more conventional aspects of history should be warned: you are not going to learn much about the events of the times, the individual personalities of many of the Hapsburgs or get much of a feel for whether particular rulers were good or evil, wise or demented, successful or failures. [And the blurb on the jacket is downright misleading where it tantalizes you into thinking that you'll get some entertaining tales of Habsburg eccentricity, such as Juana the Mad touring around Spain with her dead husband's coffin: Mr. Wheatcroft doesn't discuss that story]. I have to agree with another reviewer that Mr. Wheatcroft can tell a good story when he wants, and does so early in the book with that of Leopold III's campaign against the Swiss. For that reason, I think that the choice of focus represents something of a missed opportunity. You cannot buy this book and, after reading it, feel that you have a solid feel the history of the times that it covers. You'll have to buy a second book. If you don't mind that, by all means buy this one too. If, however, you want to buy only one book on the Hapsburgs, you probably would want something else.
10 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Nice Overview of a Famous Dynasty 16. Juni 2006
Von Ex Libris GM - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
This book gives a reasonably coherent overview of a dynasty that was eminent and influential in European politics from the 13th to the early 20th centuries. The author maintains a more or less chronological order of who followed whom and presents a concise history of the events that occurred during their reign. He also presents some insights and facts about the personal characteristics and traits of the more noteworthy Hapsburg (or Habsburg, if you like) rulers. At appropriate places in the text he inserts applicabnle commentary and quotes by contemporary observers. The book also includes numerous paintings as figures throughout the book.

The book is not as bad as some reviewers would lead you to believe. What I liked about it is that (to me, at least) it didn't get bogged down in tedious detail of each Hapsburg generation but gave the major facts and figures in an informative manner. Given that the Hapsburgs wielded power in Spain and Austria at the same time, I thought his treatment was informative without being boring. It would be nice if the author had inserted the applicable figure number for a view of the subject as he presented him (or her) but this is a personal preference.
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen good basic overall look at habsburgs 25. September 1999
Von magnumss@aol.com - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
very good information on the early lineage of habsburgs, that are not covered in modern history. not a great deal of information of the habsburgs who went on to romania and other parts of the austrian-hungarian empire through marriage. this book and "Fall of the House of Habsburg" does not give enough weight to the to the ability of this empire to keep together the balkans for over 100 years. and both books do not address the misery of the splits in the former empire.the current ethic,regional, and spiritual wars. a decent read, but i hope that a scholar of a/h would write a positive book on their achievements and its relation to the current situation in the balkans. this book is a good addition to a library of european history. a good read and another part of what created modern europe.
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