The Habsburgs: Embodying Empire

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Viking, 1995 - History - 384 pages
19 Reviews
For a Habsburg, there was no limit to possibility: Maximilian I could dream of being both Pope and Holy Roman Emperor; Ferdinand II could imagine turning back the tide of Protestantism, and cheerfully risk drowning Europe in blood to achieve that miracle; and Francis I would fashion a cosy Biedermeier world, in which all children had rosy cheeks and all milkmaids were pretty and demure. Like saints - or madmen - they denied reality and constructed the world as they wanted it to be. For generations, the Habsburgs have resisted the interrogation of history, but in this book, covering the whole sweep of Habsburg history from the Middle Ages to the present, Andrew Wheatcroft utilizes a new approach. There is less about the lands and peoples that were ruled, and more about the rulers themselves, both as individuals and collectively. Andrew Wheatcroft uses the techniques of the archaeologist, scraping through the strata of past lives to rediscover the Habsburgs' own scale of values, their concerns, their totems and their fetishes. He explores how and why the Habsburgs have survived and how they are now moving confidently towards a new century, as ever imbued with their own curious and convoluted version of eternal life.

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Review: The Habsburgs: Embodying Empire

User Review  - Katy M - Goodreads

This was a good book and well written, but I kept getting confused as to who was who. Read full review

Review: The Habsburgs: Embodying Empire

User Review  - Jonathan - Goodreads

In a very readable and entertaining fashion, Andrew Wheatcroft has painted a colorful and deep portrait of one of Europe's great dynasties, not based on the great historical events of their eras and ... Read full review


z Cosa Nostra Our Cause 13001400
Universal Empire 14001500
El Dorado The Golden One 150015 50

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About the author (1995)

ANDREW WHEATCROFT is the author of many books including The Habsburgs: Embodying Empire, The Ottomans: Dissolving Images, and (with John Keegan) Zones of Conflict: An Atlas of Future Wars. One of the first scholars to use photography in writing the history of the Middle East, he has made art and images a central focus of his work. He is director of the international postgraduate Centre for Publishing Studies at the University of Stirling in Scotland.

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