Vanished Empire: Vienna, Budapest and Prague and the Three Capital Cities of the Hapsburg Empire As Seen Today

Vanished Empire: Vienna, Budapest and Prague and the Three Capital Cities of the Hapsburg Empire As Seen Today

by Stephen Brook

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Brook's invigorating tour of pivotal cities of the Hapsburg Empire, which collapsed during WW I, illuminates three very different national identities. He found the Viennese ``myopically inward-looking,'' their cultured city still a seedbed of the neuroses that Freud investigated nearly a century before; Austrians, in his view, are unwilling to face their Nazi past. In Budapest, writing in 1987-1988 before the recent changes in the Hungarian government, he encountered a restless, irrepressible people frustrated by a system they openly despised. Prague's impassive residents seemed disillusioned with Gorbachev, yet relatively well-off and inured to the self-perpetuating, corrupt Czech government. Brook ( Honkytonk Gelato ) visited restaurants, therapeutic springs, markets, palaces; he offers an opinionated guide to operas, museums, architecture. He also has a wonderful eye for those details that reveal the quirks, fissures and strengths of each nation's psyche. (Feb.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
British journalist Brook turns his discerning, travel writer's eye on three great cities of Eastern Europe. Comparing economic and social conditions, cultural offerings, and freedom of the citizens, he finds more differences than similarities, despite a common past as seats of Hapsburg power. In Budapest shops are filled with an abundance of consumer goods, but wages are not high enough to buy them; in Prague the shops are often empty, but wages are much higher. Neighborhoods and tourist attractions are described in impressionistic terms, and the distinctive personality of each city emerges from the Hapsburg shadow. Given the increased interest in Eastern Europe these days, this should have wide appeal.-- Marica L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., New York

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HarperCollins Publishers
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1st Amer. ed

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