Black Vienna: The Radical Right in the Red City, 1918-1938 by Janek WassermanBlack Vienna: The Radical Right in the Red City, 1918-1938 by Janek Wasserman

Black Vienna: The Radical Right in the Red City, 1918-1938

byJanek Wasserman

Hardcover | August 5, 2014

Pricing and Purchase Info

$57.92 online 
$67.50 list price save 14%
Earn 290 plum® points

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Interwar Vienna was considered a bastion of radical socialist thought, and its reputation as "Red Vienna" has loomed large in both the popular imagination and the historiography of Central Europe. However, as Janek Wasserman shows in this book, a “Black Vienna” existed as well; its members voiced critiques of the postwar democratic order, Jewish inclusion, and Enlightenment values, providing a theoretical foundation for Austrian and Central European fascist movements. Looking at the complex interplay between intellectuals, the public, and the state, he argues that seemingly apolitical Viennese intellectuals, especially conservative ones, dramatically affected the course of Austrian history. While Red Viennese intellectuals mounted an impressive challenge in cultural and intellectual forums throughout the city, radical conservatism carried the day. Black Viennese intellectuals hastened the destruction of the First Republic, facilitating the establishment of the Austrofascist state and paving the way for Anschluss with Nazi Germany.

Closely observing the works and actions of Viennese reformers, journalists, philosophers, and scientists, Wasserman traces intellectual, social, and political developments in the Austrian First Republic while highlighting intellectuals' participation in the growing worldwide conflict between socialism, conservatism, and fascism. Vienna was a microcosm of larger developments in Europe—the rise of the radical right and the struggle between competing ideological visions. By focusing on the evolution of Austrian conservatism, Wasserman complicates post–World War II narratives about Austrian anti-fascism and Austrian victimhood.

Janek Wasserman is Assistant Professor of Modern German/Central European History at the University of Alabama.
Title:Black Vienna: The Radical Right in the Red City, 1918-1938Format:HardcoverDimensions:9.25 × 6.13 × 0.39 inPublished:August 5, 2014Publisher:CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801452872

ISBN - 13:9780801452871

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

Introduction: Reconsidering "Red Vienna"

1. The Emergence of Black Vienna

2. The Austro-Marxist Struggle for "Intellectual Workers"

3. The Spannkreis and the Battle for Hegemony in Central Europe

4. The Verein Ernst Mach and the Politicization of Viennese Progressive Thought

5. Österreichische Aktion and the New Conservatism

6. The Rise and Fall of Politically Engaged Scholarship in Red Vienna, 1927–1934

7. The Triumph of Radical Conservatism in the Austrofascist State, 1933–1938



Editorial Reviews

"Black Vienna provides a more complex, more nuanced understanding of the Radical Right in Vienna than we have had before, but Janek Wasserman also describes the many connections among left-wing intellectuals, including Marxists, psychoanalysts, and logical positivists, emphasizing the weakness of Red Vienna in the intellectual and political world of the interwar years. Wasserman's book helps us to understand the polarization of politics in the First Austrian Republic by studying the intellectuals of the far Right, who were more radical than either of the main conservative parties and who found common ground between German nationalism and Catholicism and in their shared commitments to authoritarianism and anti-Semitism. This is a book about the dynamics of polarization and mutual perception between Left and Right in the intellectual and ideological camps of interwar Vienna. Wasserman emphasizes the importance and influence of Black Vienna, especially of understudied radical conservative thinkers such as Othmar Spann."—David Luft, Horning Professor in the Humanities and Professor of History, Oregon State University, author of Eros and Inwardness in Vienna