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Freelance historian Zamoyski (Moscow 1812) offers a penetrating account of Europe's first summit meeting. In September 1814, Austria, Russia, Prussia, England, and many lesser political entities convened in Vienna to restore order to a Europe that had endured 25 years of bloody warfare. Napoléon had been defeated and shipped off to Elba, of course to return during the Hundred Days, but this did not deter the conferees from carving up Europe into compliant properties for the victors. The key players in what amounted to a high-stakes poker game were Metternich (Austria), Hardenberg (Prussia), Castlereagh (Britain), and Alexander I (Russia). But just about every European aristocrat seemed to have congregated in Vienna to advance agendas and to party. Zamoyski stresses that the Congress of Vienna was a bacchanalian extravaganza where affairs of state became entwined with affairs of the heart, and until the 1950s most historians condemned it as nothing more than the restoration of the ancien régime. Then in 1957 Henry Kissinger posited in his published doctoral thesis, A World Restored, that the congress epitomized the virtues of realpolitikand brought a century of peace to Europe. Zamoyski will have none of this revisionist interpretation and maintains that the congress left a negative legacy that haunted Europe well into the 20th century. His book is a superb example of diplomatic history and belongs in every Modern European history collection.