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Twilight of the Habsburgs: The Life and Times of Emperor Francis Joseph Paperback – February 12, 1997
"Hitler's Forgotten Children" by Ingrid von Oelhafen
The Lebensborn program abducted as many as half a million children from across Europe. Through a process called Germanization, they were to become the next generation of the Aryan master race in the second phase of the Final Solution. Hitler's Forgotten Children is both a harrowing personal memoir and a devastating investigation into the awful crimes and monstrous scope of the Lebensborn program. Learn more | See related books
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Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The strongest portions of this book deal with Francis Joseph's personal life. I felt sorry for the poor man, dealing in turn with a bossy mother, a flighty wife he loved dearly, a son who wasted his great abilities and committed suicide, and a host of nephews and cousins who couldn't behave themselves and certainly didn't give him the support he needed. His life was full of losses, a brother executed in Mexico, his wife assassinated, his son a suicide, and finally his nephew and heir's murder bringing on a World War. At least he had one friend, an actress he visited for years in a platonic relationship. Its nice to think of him laughing with her over coffee, it must have been the only chance he had to relax!
Francis Joseph was not a brilliant or especially bright, but he did his duty as he saw it and stuck to it right to the end. It is this that makes him admirable today.
Palmer's book "The Twilight of the Habsburgs: The Life and Times of Emperor Franz Josef" changed my perspective on the Austrian monarch not by painting him as a exceptional or clever leader, which he wasn't; but simply by portraying Franz Josef as a dutiful leader whose reign and personal life was frequently marred by tragedy. Indeed, Franz Josef was keen on his empire's defeat at war at the hands of the French, Italians, and Prussians. As a result, it seems likely he never would have dragged Austria-Hungary into the Great War if it were not for the influence wielded by various ministers on the then-84 year-old emperor. Throughout his life, he was abandoned by a vacationing wife whose life was cut short by an Italian anarchists, his son committed suicide in a mysterious pact, his brother was executed after a failed bid to rule Mexico, and his nephew's assassination in Sarejevo was the saprk that ignited World War I. Indeed, the reader will find out that Franz Josef's personal life was far from a royal fairytale.
Besides the enormous tragedies experienced by Emperor Franz Josef, the changing times surrounding the Emperor's long reign (1848-1916) are nothing short of an exciting setting that may be difficult for us to fathom in the 21st century. At the dawn of Franz Josef's reign, the cavalryman was still prominent on the battlefield, Germany and Italy were mostly collections of squabbling states on his northern and southern border, and the flight of man was limited to a pipe dream.Read more ›
But whatever his shortcomings, the Hapsburg empire was already in decline when he assumed the crown. It was simply too ethnically diverse to govern effectively or fairly. Union with Hungary exacerbated, rather than mitigated this situation. Although his long reign might be considered as stabilizing the realm, it also served to fossilize practices and policies which became irrelevant with the changing times.
No bibliography, but extensive notes and their sources in the form of a bibliographic essay.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The condition of the paperback that I received was a s good as new from Barnes and Noble. Very happy with the delivery time and the subject matter.Published 6 months ago by Tom Ryan
A great book about a bad person -- yes, I think Franz Joseph was a bad person. Too bad the assassination attempt on him failed.Published 18 months ago by Tim Proeber
An excellent description of the times of Francis Joseph, one of the longest reigning monarchs of Europe, his personal tragedies, and his view on how to keep his large Empire... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Lyalya
Similar to previous reviews I have read, it is very distracting to see names Anglicanized by the author. It is FRANZ Joseph, not Francis. Read morePublished on October 2, 2013 by melalbert
If you have the interest in the subject, it is a good read. If not, then it will be of little interest as the writing style can be boring at times. Read morePublished on September 27, 2013 by Brutus
This is the most disappointing biography I've read recently. Palmer's style is dry and boring, but worse than that he's horribly biased in how he presents information, and also... Read morePublished on October 23, 2012 by Ashes in Bloom