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Uncrowned Emperor: The Life and Times of Otto von Habsburg Paperback – April 10, 2007
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The last part of the book deals with Otto's Pan-Europeanism as well as the ups and downs of his family life and his children's personal and political fortunes. Combined with his efforts earlier, it makes an interesting and convincing case that Otto genuinely is and always was concerned with Europe's well-being in general, and that of his father's former subjects in particular, with recovering the Habsburg crowns a secondary concern.Read more ›
Otto had every right to be bitter over the hand fate dealt him, but we see very little of such an emotion in his life. Instead, we see a man whose dedication to Austria and Hungary (and later to all of Europe) never wavered. He stood by his homelands and was their most fervent advocate even in the dark days of World War II and the Cold War. He was ambitious yet honorable, as we see repeatedly when he refused to have anything to do with Hitler, for example.
Otto's most important contributions came towards the end of his life, when he became one of the first members of the European Parliament. For twenty years he was a steadfast advocate of greater European unity, but within a setting in which tradition, custom, and above all established religion were not ignored. He was also a devoted family man, marrying rather late in life and fathering a large brood of children.
So although Otto von Hapsburg did not achieve the status he was born to, he nevertheless made a positive contribution to the world, something his ancestors, many of whom held more power but had far less stature, would certainly be proud of.
Among the most glaring . . .
p. 24: Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated on June 28, 1914, not June 26, 1914. Although the difference is slight, this date is known to almost every schoolboy in Austria.
p. 31: Empress Zita's brother Sixtus fought for the Belgians in World War I, not the French. This is significant because of Sixtus's efforts to mediate a peace settlement with Austria.
p. 33: During the course of fighting in World War I, German troops had no "final retreat--back to the homeland." They withdrew in an orderly fashion after the armistice was signed. On November 11, 1918, German troops, though weakened, were still on French soil.
p. 80: During the Weimar Republic, there was no such thing as a "Democratic Conservative Party." The Democratic Party was not conservative, and the conservative party (DNVP) was not democratic.
Brook-Shepherd also has problems with first names.
-- Thomas (or Tomas) Masaryk, not Jan Masaryk, was the founder and first president of Czechoslovakia. This error is notable both because it is repeated several times and because Thomas (or Tomas) Masaryk was largely responsible for the dissolution of the Habsburg Empire. Jan Masaryk was Czechoslovak foreign minister after 1945.
-- The regent of the Kingdom of Hungary was Miklos Horthy, not Niklos Horthy.
-- The former chancellor of Germany is Helmut Kohl, not Helmuth Kohl.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book consisted of a great deal of European politics, while important to Otto's story, completely over shadowed this book. Read morePublished on February 23, 2014 by Rachel Tracy
I'm just about to finish this book. It is an easy reading (although not the easiest english for non native speaker)but very readable without enumerating facts, written more like... Read morePublished on March 11, 2012 by Neven79