Liberal parties fared poorly in the politics of late Habsburg Austria, yet Deborah Coen argues that nineteenth-century Austro-German liberalism should be imagined in a context larger than lost elections. We must recognize liberalism’s importance in the realms of sensibility, lifestyle, science, pedagogy, and leisure. In refreshing ways, Coen’s book revises the half-truths of Carl Schorske’s picture of Austrian liberalism as a father’s credo overwhelmed after 1880 by rebellious oedipal sons, anti-Semitism, and aesthetic modernisms. Although acknowledging elitist and utopian aspects of the liberal ethos, Coen depicts liberal strategies for navigating pre-1914 change with pronounced sympathy and claims that liberalism was more supple and less hostile to modernism and generational challenge than Schorske thought. More broadly, she expands our understanding of the scientific and philosophical imaginations in Austria, the history of ethics, and relationships between the public and private spheres.
Austrian History Yearbook
Required Publisher's Statement
Austrian History Yearbook / Volume 40 / April 2009, pp 310-311
Copyright © Center for Austrian Studies, University of Minnesota 2009
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0067237809001052 (About DOI), Published online: 16 April 2009
Ritter, Harry, "Vienna in the Age of Uncertainty: Science, Liberalism, and Private Life - Book Review" (2009). History Faculty and Staff Publications. 28.
Subjects - Topical (LCSH)
Subjects - Names (LCNAF)
Coen, Deborah R. Vienna in the age of uncertainty
Vienna (Austria)--Biography; Vienna (Austria)--Intellectual life