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The Grand Strategy of the Habsburg Empire

The Grand Strategy of the Habsburg Empire

By A. Wess Mitchell

"The story of the Habsburg Empire, which shaped key episodes of European history for several centuries, is one of endurance and finesse. A gripping and insightful work that yields lessons for statecraft in our own time."—Henry A. Kissinger

"A compelling and long-overdue analysis."—Richard Bassett, author of For God and Kaiser: The Imperial Austrian Army, 1619–1918

"This graceful account of Habsburg diplomacy . . . explains how the empire survived so long."—Andrew Moravcsik, Foreign Affairs

The Empire of Habsburg Austria faced more enemies than any other European great power. Flanked on four sides by rivals, it possessed few of the advantages that explain successful empires. Yet somehow Austria endured, outlasting Ottoman sieges, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon. A. Wess Mitchell tells the story of how this cash-strapped, polyglot empire survived for centuries in Europe’s most dangerous neighborhood without succumbing to the pressures of multisided warfare. He shows how the Habsburgs played the long game in geopolitics, corralling friend and foe alike into voluntarily managing the empire’s lengthy frontiers and extending a benign hegemony across the turbulent lands of middle Europe. The Grand Strategy of the Habsburg Empire offers lessons on how to navigate a messy geopolitical map, stand firm without the advantage of military predominance, and prevail against multiple rivals.

416 pages with 16 black-and-white illustrations
Princeton University Press, 2019
6.1 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
ISBN 9780691196442
Austrian History     

$24.95 $24.95