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Vienna: How the City of Ideas Created the Modern World

Vienna: How the City of Ideas Created the Modern World

Vienna: How the City of Ideas Created the Modern World

By Richard Cockett

This book was featured in our Lecture Series. 

“A rich and fascinating book. Pre-war Vienna was a cauldron of ideas—ideas that were mostly extinguished in Austria, but exported to the Anglo-American world. Richard Cockett makes a compelling case for how they continue to shape our lives.”—David Edmonds, author of The Murder of Professor Schlick

How can one European capital be responsible for most of the West’s intellectual and cultural achievements in the twentieth century?

Viennese ideas saturate the modern world. From California architecture to Hollywood Westerns, modern advertising to shopping malls, orgasms to gender confirmation surgery, nuclear fission to fitted kitchens—every aspect of our history, science, and culture is in some way shaped by Vienna.

The city of Freud, Wittgenstein, Mahler, and Klimt was the melting pot at the heart of a vast metropolitan empire. But with the Second World War and the rise of fascism, the dazzling coteries of thinkers who squabbled, debated, and called Vienna home dispersed across the world, where their ideas continued to have profound impact.

Richard Cockett gives us the entirety of this extraordinary story. Tracing Vienna’s rich intellectual history from psychoanalysis to Reaganomics, Cockett encompasses everything from the communist rebels of Red Vienna to the neoliberal economists of the Austrian School. This is the panoramic account of how one city made the modern world—and how we all remain inescapably Viennese.

464 pages | 25 black-and-white illustrations
Yale University Press, 2023
‎6.5 x 1.5 x 9.75 inches
ISBN 9780300266535
Viennese History, Austria 

$35.00 $35.00