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- Strategist and Visionary
- Narrated by: Nigel Patterson
- Length: 36 hrs and 57 mins
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Metternich has a reputation as the epitome of reactionary conservatism. Historians treat him as the archenemy of progress, a ruthless aristocrat who used his power as the dominant European statesman of the first half of the nineteenth century to stifle liberalism, suppress national independence, and oppose the dreams of social change that inspired the revolutionaries of 1848. Wolfram Siemann paints a fundamentally new image of the man who shaped Europe for over four decades. He reveals Metternich as more modern and his career much more forward-looking than we have ever recognized.
Clemens von Metternich emerged from the horrors of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, Siemann shows, committed above all to the preservation of peace. That often required him, as the Austrian Empire's foreign minister and chancellor, to back authority. He was, as Henry Kissinger has observed, the father of realpolitik. But short of compromising on his overarching goal Metternich aimed to accommodate liberalism and nationalism as much as possible. Siemann draws on previously unexamined archives to bring this multilayered and dazzling man to life.
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- Kindle Customer
In Defence of Metternich
This is something of a reappraisal of Metternich, who does not come across as the arch-reactionary that we may be familiar with, but rather someone looking for stability in turbulent times. It’s certainly an informative listen for those interested in the period.
1 person found this helpful
Reads like a textbook, and somehow takes an interesting statesman living in the most interesting of times, and turns the story into a dull slog.
- john brimelow
Superb and informative
Deeply rooted in freshly accessed sources.
Some phases of history are glaciated by the polemics of the time. Metternich’s career is one.
This book effects a tremendous thaw. All future scholarship will have to contend with it.