The Assassination of the Archduke: Sarajevo 1914 and the Romance that Changed the World

Greg King and Sue Woolmans. St Martin's, $27.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-250-00016-3
For all the horror that his assassination caused, Archduke Franz Ferdinand the man remains under-recognized. Made heir after his cousin committed suicide and his father declined the throne, Ferdinand was not the Emperor Franz Josef's favorite. Making things worse, Ferdinand fell in love with Sophie Chotek, who despite aristocratic ancestry was considered unfit for marriage. They did marry, but it was a hollow victory: Sophie became a morganatic spouse, excluded from the privileges of Austro-Hungarian royal society. Rather than the romantic storyline, which feels forced (Princess Isabella of Croÿ "plays the role of wicked stepmother"), it is the descriptions of royal society where the account is strongest. The inane and petty rules and procedures of a long dead monarchial society led to the consistent humiliation of Franz and Sophie in royal court and also likely contributed to their demise. The Emperor and royal officials insisted that Ferdinand visit Sarajevo in 1914, despite the volatile political climate and Ferdinand's multiple attempts to cancel the trip. King and Woolman craft a sophisticated portrait of a man who cared deeply for his family, and was destroyed not just by an assassin's bullet, but by a decrepit society that could not tolerate his independent streak. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/28/2013
Release date: 09/01/2013
Show other formats
Hardcover - 424 pages - 978-0-230-75957-2
Ebook - 424 pages - 978-0-230-75958-9
Hardcover - 424 pages - 978-1-4472-4521-6
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-1-4472-0147-2
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4829-4418-1
Open Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-250-03867-8
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-1-250-05546-0
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.