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Posted June 12, 2010
Posted February 23, 2009
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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.
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 13, 2009
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