The Rebirth of Austria

The Rebirth of Austria

The Rebirth of Austria

The Rebirth of Austria

Excerpt

The idea of writing this book came to me after a talk given early in 1951 to the Winnipeg Branch of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs. It was clear on that occasion that a well-informed group of Canadians knew little about Austria and that their potential interest in the subject was considerable.

As a student of international relations I have frequently felt the need of the kind of objective general study of contemporary conditions in another part of the world that this book sets out to be. If we keep moving in the right direction, the obligations of twentieth-century citizenship will extend increasingly beyond national politics. And political obligations, international in scope, can only be satisfactorily fulfilled on a basis of widening knowledge.

Post-War Austria is a subject both interesting in itself and typical of the troubled continent of which it is the geographical centre. Its importance to Europeans needs no emphasis, but it is a subject also of particular significance to the people of North America, who have emerged from the War with greater relative wealth and increased productive capacity.

Two things are required by the author of the type of study I have mentioned: versatility and leisure to do maximum justice to a moving scene. These I have not possessed in the measure in which they are needed. To present a balanced picture I have had to deal with subjects of which I have little technical knowledge, and I have had to combine the whole undertaking with my normal academic duties. In spite of these disadvantages, the absence of any general study of Austria since the war has encouraged me to make the attempt.

The chief difficulty in writing about recent events is the lack of reliable sources. Official documents may be inaccessible, and statistics are not always available. The fact that Austria is an occupied country makes the situation worse: the occupying . . .

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