A landmark book from one of the truly original scholars of our time: a magnificent revelation of turn-of-the-century Vienna where out of a crisis of political and social disintegration so much of modern art and thought was born.
"Not only is it a splendid exploration of several aspects of early modernism in their political context; it is an indicator of how the discipline of intellectual history is currently practiced by its most able and ambitious craftsmen. It is also a moving vindication of historical study itself, in the face of modernism's defiant suggestion that history is obsolete."
-- David A. Hollinger, History Book Club Review
"Each of [the seven separate studies] can be read separately....Yet they are so artfully designed and integrated that one who reads them in order is impressed by the book's wholeness and the momentum of its argument."
-- Gordon A. Craig, The New Republic
"A profound work...on one of the most important chapters of modern intellectual history" -- H.R. Trevor-Roper, front page, The New York Times Book Review
"Invaluable to the social and political historian...as well as to those more concerned with the arts" -- John Willett, The New York Review of Books
"A work of original synthesis and scholarship. Engrossing."
Table of Contents
I. Politics and the Psyche: Schnitzler and Hofmannstahl
II. The Ringstrasse, Its Critics, and the Birth of Urban Modernism
III. Politics in a New Key: An Austrian Trio
IV. Politics and Patricide in Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams
V. Gustav Klimt: Painting and the Crisis of the Liberal Ego
VI. The Transformation of the Garden
VII. Explosions in the Garden: Kokoschka and Schoenberg
"Not only is it a splendid exploration of several aspects of early modernism in their political context; it is an indicator of how the discipline of intellectual history is currently practiced by its most able and ambitious craftsmen." --David A. Hollinger