The Struggle for Supremacy in Germany, 1859-1866

The Struggle for Supremacy in Germany, 1859-1866

The Struggle for Supremacy in Germany, 1859-1866

The Struggle for Supremacy in Germany, 1859-1866

Excerpt

Heinrich Friedjung, the author of this book and perhaps the greatest of Austrian historians, was born at Rostchin in Moravia, of Jewish parents, on January 18, 1851, and died in Vienna on July 14, 1920. He was the author of numerous historical works--The Emperor Charles IV and his Share in the Intellectual Life of his Time (1876); The Struggle for Supremacy in Germany (1897-98); Benedek's Literary Remains (1901); The Crimean War and Austrian Policy (1907); Austria from 1848 to 1860 (incomplete: the first volume, 1909; the first part of the second volume, 1912); Historical Essays (1919); and The Age of Imperialism, which was completed after his death by Professor A. F. Pǐibram (1920-22).

The Struggle for Supremacy is undoubtedly Friedjung's greatest work, for in it he combined the accuracy and the gift of vivid narrative, which stamps all his work, with a deep emotional comprehension of both parties in the struggle. His account is impartial, but the impartiality is not due to aloofness; it springs from the fact that Friedjung sympathised with both combatants--he was on both sides at once. For Friedjung was by conviction a passionate German Austrian, proud of the great traditions of Germany, but equally proud of the great traditions of Austria. The War of 1866 laid the foundations of a united German Empire, such as German patriots had aspired to for years, and Bismarck, its architect, became the national hero of all Germans. Friedjung was no exception--he felt as German as any Prussian or Bavarian--and Bismarck is clearly the hero of The Struggle for Supremacy. But Friedjung was also . . .

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