An Autodidactic Corner Selection
The Red Prince: The Lives of a Hapsburg Archduke by Timothy Snyder is a beautifully crafted work of biography by a leading American historian who focuses on Central Europe and the Holocaust. Prior to this Mel read his essential Holocaust studies, Black Earth:The Holocaust as History and Warning and Bloodlands:Europe Between Hitler and Stalin.
Wilhelm Von Hapsburg (born in Losing, Austro-Hungary 1895, he died 1948 in Kiev, Ukraine in a Soviet prison awaiting transportation to Siberia)
was among the last of the Hapsburg dynasty. The Hapsburg family ruled much of Central Europe from 1273 to 1926. He was a walking argument in favour of the end of rule by hereditary monarchs.
We are way behind on posting so I will just say I greatly enjoyed this book and let the publisher sum up the book.
“Part of the family that ruled much of central Europe since 1273, Wilhelm von Habsburg (1895–1949) came of age during the last 23 years of the dynasty's rule. Von Habsburg lived a nomadic and tragic life; he was a bisexual and a political chameleon (including a brief pro-Nazi period) who was implicated in a major financial scandal in Paris during the 1930s. But during WWI, he had become a fervent Ukrainian nationalist, and this became his life's one constant, culminating with efforts to help formerly pro-German Ukraine turn to the West at the end of WWII. As Yale historian Snyder (Sketches from a Secret War) shows, his efforts were futile; he was charged by the Soviets with spying and died in prison. Snyder hews closely to his subject, so that the complexities of 20th-century Ukrainian history sometimes get short shrift, e.g., he devotes only two sentences to the 1933 terror famine that killed three million peasants. Generally, though, this is an interesting biography of a man whose colorful life embodied many of the tensions that plagued Europe in the early 20th century.” - from the publisher
Consultant Upon the legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire