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Thursday, September 21, 2017
book review janek wassermann vienna
Janek Wasserman takes a closer look at conservative discontent in Red Vienna during the interwar period It is the victors who write the history, Winston Churchill once said. In his case, of course, he wrote it himself, in six legendary volumes that established the importance of Britain’s role in winning World War II. And while certainly selective, even prejudicial, it...
English books in Vienna
Where to buy new English books in Vienna Finding bookstores that sell English books in Vienna is no problem. Here are a few of our favorites. For me there are few pleasures that surpass the simple joy of browsing a bookstore. Different colored spines with intriguing titles line the shelves. Familiar authors entice you with their latest works, almost like meeting...
On Tyranny
Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny is a call to action, demystifying the assaults on contemporary democracy through the lessons of history. Putin, Orbán, Brexit, Trump: Recent world events have made many feel helpless, confused, despondent. An answer: Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century. Concise, clear, and solidly fact based, it distills years of top-level scholarship covering the century’s...
holy roman empire
Peter H. Wilson asks us to reimagine the premodern world in The Holy Roman Empire It was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire – or so we learned in school. Voltaire’s deprecating but irresistible quip was aimed with scornful élan at what we today term a failed state. Its sentiment, shared by Hegel and James Madison, rests upon the...
grand hotel
Vicki Baum’s classic international bestseller Grand Hotel: a lucid, affectionate depiction of a society in crisis The Vienna-born novelist Vicki Baum made history with her novel Grand Hotel, published under the title Menschen im Hotel in 1929. Her work ethic, her curiosity and her openness towards things new and modern were contributing factors in her rise to literary stardom during...
the revenge of analog
The desire for real things in real time lies deep in the human psyche argues David Sax in The Revenge of Analog. Evenings, after supper, my father loved to listen to music. Gently removing a record from the sleeve, he would place it on the turntable and, equally as tenderly, place the needle carefully in the groove.  I would wait,...
The Vanquished
In The Vanquished, Robert Gerwarth attempts a more nuanced look at WW1 and why the carnage didn’t end in 1918. On September 11, 1919, Gabriele D’Annunzio, one of the most brilliant Italian poets of his day and a decorated war hero, drove to Fiume in a bright red Fiat. Leading an army of 2,000 irregulars, formed ad hoc, he set...
sigmund freud
Award-winning Viennese writer Robert Seethaler's bestselling novel, The Tobacconist, tackles coming of age on the eve of war and shows a sentimental side of Freud. Robert Seethaler didn’t plan to become a novelist. An established character actor on stage and screen (most recently opposite Rachel Weisz in Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth), he began writing novels while studying for a degree in...
rigor mortis
Richard Harris’ book Rigor Mortis inspires scientific soul-searching. Let’s start out addressing the elephant in the room: There are a lot of scientific studies that are just not reproducible, period. It’s not about one lab, or one theory, or one field.Everyone in science is affected by what has been called the “reproducibility crisis.” Drug development is slowing down. Major initiatives...
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