The International Capital
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From the Congress of Vienna to the Austria World Summit the city of Vienna has hosted key meetings on peace to climate action. This is a first-class book about Vienna as the crossroads of civilization and as the international capital
Your book is not just a declaration of love for Vienna, it is a pleasure to read and a journey of discovery even for those who know this city well'
Alexander Van der Bellen, President of Austria
Angus Robertson with his intimate knowledge of the city has brilliantly chronicled Vienna's history through the centuries and illustrated it with innumerable vignettes from contemporary observers. He has succeeded in painting a thoroughly enjoyable portrait of a great international capital
Hella Pick, Author and Foreign Correspondent
At the heart of Europe" is how the Viennese describe their city geographically. Thanks to Angus Robertson they now have a rollicking historical tribute to Vienna’s pivotal role through the ages as an international city - from Roman times to the modern day, via the Habsburgs and Hitler. Clearly smitten with his adopted city, Robertson carefully selects colourful contemporary accounts to bring the past to life, while importantly not shying away from Vienna’s darker moments
Katya Adler, BBC Europe Editor
What an enjoyable cosmopolitan and exuberant celebration of Vienna by a someone who really knows and loves that great city
Simon Sebag Montefiore
It offers a fresh perspective on the city in which Robertson worked as a journalist for nearly a decade and involved extensive original research
An astonishingly comprehensive survey of the history of Vienna
Tells the story of Vienna’s diplomatic and historical significance in a new, complete history of the city
Hopefully you will all read the book by Angus Robertson…this is a really serious book about Vienna
Ambassador Emil Brix, Director of Vienna Diplomatic Academy
Vienna: The International Capital - To my knowledge it’s the first and only book on that topic. Angus Robertson did fantastic research ... I think there is no peer for this book
Michael Zimmerman, Austrian Ambassador to UK
Tremendously good book, with tremendous narrative energy which powers the story forward on every page. It’s beautifully written. I thought I knew about this region of Europe having worked there for many, many years. I learnt something on every page. I think it is a very, very serious achievement and congratulations, I cannot praise it too highly
Allan Little, Director Edinburgh Book Festival and former BBC Special Correspondent
Robertson’s enthusiasm for his subject carries across in the breadth of accounts and the fine detail throughout. An impressive work of research, the book is a comprehensive history that in its best moments, manages to find fresh nuance in an already storied city
[Robertson] has an eye for the telling detail and illustrative anecdote… [with] well-chosen vignettes by contemporary observers through the ages
A useful historical introduction to Vienna, with a focus on high politics'
About the Book
Vienna is unique amongst world capitals in its consistent international importance over the centuries. From the ascent of the Habsburgs as Europe's leading dynasty to the Congress of Vienna, which reordered Europe after Napoleon, to bridge- building summits during the Cold War, it is the Austrian capital that has been the scene of key moments in European and world affairs.
History has been shaped by scores of figures influenced by their time in Vienna, including: Empress Maria Theresa, Count Metternich, Bertha von Suttner, Theodore Herzl, Gustav Mahler, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, John F. Kennedy and many others. In a city of great composers and thinkers it is here that both the most positive and destructive ideas of recent history have developed.
From its time as the capital of an imperial superpower, through war, dissolution, dictatorship to democracy Vienna has reinvented itself and its relevance to the rest of the world.
Angus Robertson is a Public Diplomacy consultant, with nearly 30 years' experience of the international media, front-line political and campaign experience. He is the former BBC Vienna correspondent and News Editor for the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF). He entered the UK parliament as MP for Moray in 2001 and from 2007 to 2017 he was leader of the SNP in the House of Commons. After his election as an MSP in 2021 he is now the Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture.
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