In a paramic and pioneering reappraisal, Pieter M. Judson shows why the Habsburg Empire mattered so much, for so long, to millions of Central Europeans. Rejecting fragmented histories of nations in the making, this bold revision surveys the shared institutions that bridged difference and distance to bring stability and meaning to the far-flung empire. By supporting new schools, law courts, and railroads, along with scientific and artistic advances, the Habsburg monarchs sought to anchor their authority in the cultures and ecomies of Central Europe. A rising standard of living throughout the empire deepened the legitimacy of Habsburg rule, as citizens learned to use the empire's administrative machinery to their local advantage. Nationalists developed distinctive ideas about cultural difference in the context of imperial institutions, yet all of them claimed the Habsburg state as their empire. The empire's creative solutions to governing its many lands and peoples-as well as the intractable problems it could t solve-left an enduring imprint on its successor states in Central Europe. Its lessons remain less important today.
Pieter M. Judson is a professor of nineteenth- and twentieth-century history at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. Michael Page has been recording audiobooks since 1984 and has over two hundred audiobooks to his credit. He has won several AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. A professional actor, Michael is currently a professor of theater at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.