Austria experienced remarkable economic and social growth in the years following World War II, especially considering the troubled nature of its politics. A small, land-locked country, Austria has emerged as the European Union's fourth richest state, yet it still wrestles with old decisions and demons. Merging personal observation with rich historical scholarship, Paul Lendvai, a renowned journalist and award-winning memoirist, tracks Austria's unique trajectory, from its origins to the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire and beyond. Lendvai investigates whether Austrians have come to terms with Hitler s Anschluss and the Waldheim affair and how they have met the challenge of Jorg Haider s radical right-wing ascendancy. He identifies a positive moral toughness, internal cohesion, and social discipline within the Austrian people, especially evident during the years of occupation and subsequent crises, such as the Hungarian Revolution, the Prague Spring, and the Yugoslav wars. Launching a probing study of Austria's long quest for nationhood, Lendvai offers a firsthand look at the factors and players that have influenced this evolving power.
Paul Lendvai is a Hungarian-born Austrian journalist who worked as a correspondent for the Financial Times for more than two decades. He is the author of fourteen books, including the prize-winning Blacklisted: A Journalist's Life in Central Europe and The Hungarians: A Thousand Years of Victory in Defeat, both of which have been translated into several languages.