'This is a book to be savoured and relished; excellently organised and rich in anecdote, irony, paradox and intelligence, it is a must for anyone interested in the Habsburg empire or anyone looking for an example of historical writing in its most lively, informative and attractive form.'
HISTORY Dealing with one of the key episodes in nineteenth-century history, Alan Sked completely revises the traditional view of that crucial outcome of the period's upheavals: the survival of the Habsburg Empire. Acclaimed by one Oxford professor as "worthy of A.J.P.Taylor at his best," the first edition of this book became a bestseller which was translated into German, Italian, Czech and Japanese. The key to the book's success has been the author's determination to analyse the course of Habsburg history and to take issue not merely with its leading historians, but with the very concept of "decline and fall" itself.In this second edition, the author reflects on the arguments originally raised and bolsters his original interpretation. The result is vintage Sked: clear and controversial, a vigorously written classic which is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of nineteenth-century Europe. ALAN SKED is Senior Lecturer in International History at the London School of Economics.