The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke

The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke

by Timothy Snyder

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Wilhelm Von Habsburg wore the uniform of the Austrian officer, the court regalia of a Habsburg archduke, the simple suit of a Parisian exile, the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece, and, every so often, a dress. He could handle a saber, a pistol, a rudder, or a golf club; he handled women by necessity and men for pleasure. He spoke the Italian of his archduchess mother, the German of his archduke father, the English of his British royal friends, the Polish of the country his father wished to rule, and the Ukrainian of the land Wilhelm wished to rule himself. In this exhilarating narrative history, prize-winning historian Timothy D. Snyder offers an indelible portrait of an aristocrat whose life personifies the wrenching upheavals of the first half of the twentieth century, as the rule of empire gave way to the new politics of nationalism. Coming of age during the First World War, Wilhelm repudiated his family to fight alongside Ukrainian peasants in hopes that he would become their king. When this dream collapsed he became, by turns, an ally of German imperialists, a notorious French lover, an angry Austrian monarchist, a calm opponent of Hitler, and a British spy against Stalin. Played out in Europe's glittering capitals and bloody battlefields, in extravagant ski resorts and dank prison cells, The Red Prince captures an extraordinary moment in the history of Europe, in which the old order of the past was giving way to an undefined future-and in which everything, including identity itself, seemed up for grabs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465018970
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 09/28/2010
Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 655,974
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Timothy D. Snyder is Professor of History at Yale University. He received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1997, and has held fellowships in Paris, Vienna, Warsaw, and at Harvard. He won the George Louis Beer Prize of the American Historical Association in 2003 for his book The Reconstruction of Nations, and his most recent book, Sketches From a Secret War, was awarded the Pro Historia Polonorum by the First Congress of Foreign Researchers of Poland for the best book on Polish history by a foreign author published in the preceding five years. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

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