Vienna and the Fall of the Habsburg Empire: Total War and Everyday Life in World War I

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Cambridge University Press, May 27, 2004 - History - 333 pages
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Maureen Healy examines the collapse of the Habsburg Empire from the perspective of everyday life in the capital city. She argues that a striking feature of 'total war' on the home front was the spread of a war mentality to the mundane sites of everyday life - streets, shops, schools, entertainment venues and apartment buildings. While Habsburg armies waged military campaigns on distant fronts, Viennese civilians (women, children, and men 'left at home') waged a protracted, socially devastating war against one another. Vienna's multi-ethnic population lived together in conditions of severe material shortage and faced near-starvation by 1917. The city fell into civilian mutiny before the state collapsed in 1918. Based on meticulous archival research, including citizens' letters to state authorities, the study offers a penetrating look at Habsburg citizenship by showing how ordinary women, men and children conceived of 'Austria' in the Empire's final years.

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User Review  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

This is one of those books where there is more to the study then the title suggests. While it's not news that the Austro-Hungarian state was a brittle structure, Healey takes one through the process ... Read full review


Politics and representation
Food and the politics of sacrifice
Entertainment propaganda and the Vienna
the crisis
Austrias women
Chapter5 Mobilizing Austrias children for total war
homefront men

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About the author (2004)

MAUREEN HEALY is Assistant Professor in the Department of History, Oregon State University. She was the winner of the Fraenkel Prize from the Wiener Library and Institute of Contemporary History, London, 2000.

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