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Budweisers into Czechs and Germans: A Local History of Bohemian Politics, 1848-1948

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0691048925
ISBN-10: 0691048924
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Editorial Reviews


"[A] highly intelligent and admirably researched study. . . . [King] is intent on mapping a new vision of the region's history, freed from its national blinkers."--Steven Beller, Times Literary Supplement

"There is no other local or regional history of national identification for the Habsburg monarchy with the same chronological scope and sophisticated analysis as King's."--Gary B. Cohen, International History Review

"An important study of local history in a region of Europe where many have feared to tread. . . . [This book] is quite readable and represents a major scholarly contribution to the study of nation-building."--Jack R. Dukes, History: Reviews of New Books

"[T]he most important book to appear in the fields of Austrian, Habsburg, or Bohemian history in the last twenty years."--Pieter M. Judson, Social History

"[A] wonderfully reflective book. . . . [King's] rendering of the complex national struggles is remarkably detached and empathetic at the same time, which is made particularly convincing by his elegant and respectful style of writing. Most remarkably, he depicts the role of the Habsburg rulers in a new, essentially positive light."--Diethelm Prowe, German Studies Review

"The main direction of King's argument--and the book's real contribution--is to illuminate the political dimension and origins of nationalism. . . . It is a complex story, told very engagingly. Written in a fresh style that avoids jargon and 'insiderisms,' the book will surely offer much of use to novices and well read experts alike."--Karl F. Bahm, Austrian History Yearbook

"Engagingly written and convincingly argued, this volume should command a wide audience. . . . This exemplary study is the standard by which local studies and political histories of the monarchy will be judged for years to come."--Nancy M. Wingfield, Central European History

"This work is an exhaustively researched, well written, and highly interesting account of ethnic relations in a typically multiethnic Central European city, which suggests an interesting. . . new perspective on the relationship of ethnicity and the modern state."--Carol A. Leibiger, Seminar

From the Inside Flap

"King provides a compelling narrative of nation building in a single Central European town. The story is told engagingly and with a rare freshness of style. King shows a masterful command over an impressive range of primary sources and exploits it fully in charting and interpreting the dynamics of nation building at the micro level within its larger historical setting."--David F. Good, University of Minnesota

"This book makes a significant contribution to a very active scholarly field. It is particularly welcome for the way it focuses on nationalism in one of those places that western European historians like to avoid because of the muddled and messy nature of identities in them. This will be an important book."--Celia Applegate, University of Rochester


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (November 10, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691048924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691048925
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,668,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jeremy King’s Budweisers into Czechs and Germans: A Local History of Bohemian Politics, 1848 – 1948 provides an analysis of how nationalism evolved and influence life and politics in the Bohemian city of Budweis/Budejovice. King examines what it meant to be Czech, German, and “Budweisers” by studying political and national shifts over a 100 year period. During this period Budweis/Budejovice experienced ethnic cohesion and division as the population was forced to comply with political shifts.
A common language is a strong uniting factor amongst a diverse population. While the population of Budweis/Budejovice was not overly diverse, there existed multiple languages. Both German and Czech were spoken in Budweis/Budejovice, but they were not considered to be of equal social standing. Vicar Ottokar Haug, an alderman, stated while defending his stance on the introduction of bilingual schools that “he wished to elevate the Czech language from a ‘mere peasant dialect’. While advocating for the “elevation” of the Czech language in order to “ensure peace in the long run”, Haug was quick to assert his love for “Germandom”.
The implementation of bilingual schools shows a shift in the political atmosphere because the King is actively attempting to bring language equality to the people, despite the German resistance. The identity of those living in Budweis/Budejovice was an important part of who they were, but it can also be viewed as being in a state of flux. Depending on the political atmosphere and then-current trends, an individual may identify themselves differently than their parents.
Race was not a defining characteristic of national identity until the rise of the Third Reich.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jeremy King’s Budweisers Into Czechs and Germans provided a new bottom up approach found within social historiography that explored the events within the town of Budweis/Budejovice. Nationalist consensus historians that have examined the events surrounding Habsburg, German, Czech and Bohemian events between 1848 and 1949 misfocused on ideas of statehood and nationalism missing critical elements of the dynamics that evolved in areas such as Budweis/Budejovice. King argued that while local histories have limits in explaining ideas of nationalism and by going beyond Czech and German interpretations of Hapsburg’s Bohemian politics can a greater “understanding of Czech and German nationhood” (King, 11) be achieved. His themes examined the importance of language, the transition from language to ethnicity, the movement from ethnicity to self-identification of nationalities, a mostly peaceful coexistence of peoples until World War II when Germannese shortly dominated, then to the establishment and dominance of Czechness within the Bohemian landscape as Czechoslovakia rose as a nation.
King focused heavily within the seven chapters on the importance of linguistics to aid in the understanding of the history of the central Habsburg region. Feudalism under Joseph Francis slowly transformed into a more democratic relationship within the region. The German language had been favored amongst elite society while the Czech language was looked down upon as the commoner language. Schools, private clubs and other institutions wanting equality for the inclusion of the Czech language subsidized those organizations until over time the larger Czech-speaking people gained political influence. Simultaneously, political debates concerning language transitioned to ideas of cultural origin (Czech, German, and Jew).
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