Vanished Empire: Vienna, Budapest, Prague: The Three Capital Cities of the Habsburg Empire as Seen Today

Stephen Brook, Author William Morrow & Company $21.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-688-09212-2
Brook's invigorating tour of pivotal cities of the Hapsburg Empire, which collapsed during WW I, illuminates three very different national identities. He found the Viennese ``myopically inward-looking,'' their cultured city still a seedbed of the neuroses that Freud investigated nearly a century before; Austrians, in his view, are unwilling to face their Nazi past. In Budapest, writing in 1987-1988 before the recent changes in the Hungarian government, he encountered a restless, irrepressible people frustrated by a system they openly despised. Prague's impassive residents seemed disillusioned with Gorbachev, yet relatively well-off and inured to the self-perpetuating, corrupt Czech government. Brook ( Honkytonk Gelato ) visited restaurants, therapeutic springs, markets, palaces; he offers an opinionated guide to operas, museums, architecture. He also has a wonderful eye for those details that reveal the quirks, fissures and strengths of each nation's psyche. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
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