This excellent book covers Austrian history, self identity, and political culture over the centuries. It focuses mainly on the 19th and early 20th centuries, when the Austrian empire was beginning its decline. The author does a good job explaining the tensions between the various nationalities within the empire (Germans, Czechs, Magyars, Slovenes, etc.) but he also helps the reader understand the tension between Austria and the German empire / Germany. He explores the Austrians' "Germanness" and their relationships with Prussia, Bavaria, and other German states and principalities throughout Austrian history. After reading this book, the reader will better understand the Austrian psyche, the country's glorious past, and its modern psychological insecurities. (As someone who has visited Vienna, I have seen these first hand). I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Austrian history, German history, or Central European history more broadly, as they are all intertwined, and almost inseparable.
Brendan Steinhauser is a national political strategist focused on campaigns, media, and public policy.