The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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"Not often does scholarly history soar and entrap like a fine historical novel, but here it does.... The book's real triumph is how it carries the reader from the gilt and pomp of the nineteenth century; through the dawn of a new century in war, the salacious lives of the high-born royal outcasts in 1930s Paris, and the shadow politics of Nazi Germany; and ultimately to the crushing weigh of Soviet occupation in postwar Eastern Europe. Snyder embeds all of this in a shrewd, sharp framing of the larger history before and during Wilhelm's life, ending with thought-provoking reflections on the links to the present."
Adam Zamoyski, "Spectator""
""Snyder is probably the most intelligent and sensitive historian working on East Central Europe today, and he is eminently fitted for the task of telling this tale. He has unearthed a wealth of unknown material and fascinating detail....A wonderful book, a gripping read full of surprises and memorable vignettes, which fills a gap in our knowledge and provides an accessible introduction to a badly neglected area of European history."
"Deeply researched and beautifully written, "The Red Prince" captures in shimmering colors the death of old Europe and the continent's descent into barbarism. It abounds with a cast of unforgettable characters, from bloodthirsty nationalist strongmen and shady conspirators to alluring demimondaines and debauched nobles. Snyder, an award-winning historian at Yale University, has written a compelling biography as well as a vivid depiction of an era and offers insightful observations on the mutability of personal and national identity."
Mark Mazower, "Guardian"
"There are few historians who possess Timothy Snyder's winning combination of languages, stylish story-telling, and analytic insight; in "The Red Prince," he has produced a gem.... He is a sensitive writer, with a novelist's feel for language."
"A vivid portrait of a vanished world... superb, being both prodigiously researched and elegantly written." --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
He has spent some ten years in Europe, and speaks five and reads ten European languages. Among his publications are several award-winning books, all of which have been translated: Nationalism, Marxism, and Modern Central Europe: A Biography of Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz; The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999; Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist's Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine; The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke; On Tyranny; and The Road to Unfreedom. He has written for publications including the New York Review of Books, the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, the Times Literary Supplement, Nation, the New Republic, the International Herald Tribune, and the Wall Street Journal. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B004071UJE
- Publisher : Basic Books; 1st edition (June 3, 2008)
- Publication date : June 3, 2008
- Language : English
- File size : 5960 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 353 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #788,363 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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When Wilhelm von Habsburg was born in 1895 he was a minor member of a minor branch of the Habsburg Dynasty, which had been a dominating force in European politics for 500 years. Wilhelm's immediate family were not in the main line of succession and thus lived out of the public eye as much as was possible for people known as Imperial and Royal Archdukes and Archduchesses. Wilhelm's father seems to have originated a family streak of rebelliousness, when he apparently began to make plans to establish himself as King of Poland before that country had even regained its independence. Wilhelm, as his father's youngest son, had to go further afield to rebel, and he chose the province of Ukraine, a region divided between Russia and Austria-Hungary. Before and during World War I Wilhelm was an advocate for Ukrainian independence and for some surprisingly left wing politics, and during the tumultuous period after World War I at one point seemed poised to become the country's King. Conflict between Poland and the Soviet Union put an end to hopes for Ukrainian independence, and Wilhelm was relegated to the life of a playboy in Paris, enjoying love affairs with both sexes until a financial scandal forced him to return to Austria. Then during the 1930s and 1940s Wilhelm dabbled in right wing politics, switched to anti-Nazi activities during World War II, and then in the early years of the Cold War apparently worked with Western countries spying on the Soviet Union. This led to his arrest and imprisonment by the Soviets, and he died in prison in 1948.
However colorful his life, Wilhelm von Hapsburg would not have merited a biography solely on his own account. He apparently left few letters or other written records, and there seem to be very few photographs as well. What makes The Red Prince so important is the good coverage Snyder provides of the complicated history of Ukraine. The region slipped back and forth between Austria-Hungary, Poland, and the Soviet Union until finally gaining independence in 1991. Snyder draws many excellent parallels between the nationalist politics pre- and post- World Wars I and II, the political turmoil that has plagued the former Soviet Union and its satellites since the end of the Cold War, and the kind of universal supra-nationalistic politics practiced by the Habsburgs and now by the European Union. The coverage of the Orange Revolution of 2004, when Ukraine took a decisive turn away from dictatorship towards democracy, is especially interesting.
Although Wilhelm himself seems to have left few written records, so that readers will not feel they know much about him personally, Snyder was able to recreate the lives of his parents, siblings, nieces and nephews and other relations. He reveals them to have been interesting and intelligent people with independent views, a far cry from the habitual stereotype of the Habsburgs as insufferably inbred mediocrities. Snyder also gives some fascinating portraits of some of Wilhelm's associates like Trebitsch Lincoln, who deserves a biography of his own, though it would probably be considered too bizarre to be true.