Customer Reviews for

The Habsburgs

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
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  • Posted June 12, 2010


    It was so far from what the topic was s/b that I stopped reading after the 2nd chapter.

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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Wheatcroft book takes a different perspective on the Hapsburgs

    As a trained historian [M.A., UofMich], I found that Wheatcroft's study of how the Hapsburgs successfully propagated their long regime employing psychological and mystical symbolism and architectual/artistic monuments as much as armed force or advantageous marriages is extremely interesting. Wheatcroft's research over the eight centuries covered in the book is awesome and he does recount the several near-misses that the Hapsburg Dynasty had with extinction or assimilation in its early days with clarity.

    However good his research and original p.o.v., Wheatcroft inflicts a clunky and even ambiguous style on his readers. Often pronouns are difficult to relate to their antecedants and the multitude of characters in the book are not given much color---[then he WAS working with the Hapsburgs!]

    Also, his narrative line often shifts from page to page and even paragraph to paragraph and one sometimes gets lost in tangents he takes. However, he does not slight religion as secular historians seem to do nowadays & his biases, if any, are pro-Hapsburg. Indeed, I give him a three on balance because he is so very tilted in giving the Hapsburgs the benefit of numerous historical doubts in their long cavalcade as the ascendant power in much of Europe.

    His overall work ethic cannot be slighted [The annual prize for historical writing in the UK is called The Wheatcroft Prize] and one only wishes for more illustrations of the hundreds of buildings, monuments, and characters the Hapsburgs produced over those eight centuries that he describes in much detail.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2007

    A big picture overview without much connection to world events

    This book gives the reader a feeling for the Habsburg dynasty and where they ruled across Europe. However, it offers very little understanding about the impact of their beliefs and rule on the course of events in Europe and the New World. What is discussed in this area is peripheral to the author's focus, which is more about the family's efforts to connect themselves to antiquity and Christianity (i.e., Catholicism). Wheatcroft seems to think what the Habsburg's did is unique among ruling families during these centuries in Europe. In fact all rulers and those who were successful transferring power down through generations of the same family worked to connect themselves to the divine so I'm not really understanding what the 'ah-ha' is here in this book. If you're wanting to understand what type of impact the Habsburgs had on Europe and the world you won't learn much by reading this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2000


    The Habsburgs is full of information. It is hard to believe how this family did it. The only thing that I didn't like was teh amount spent on other Habsburgs, like Marie Antoinette. I think that they should have put some information about them, too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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