From Vienna to Chicago and Back: Essays on Intellectual History and Political Thought in Europe and America

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9780226776361: From Vienna to Chicago and Back: Essays on Intellectual History and Political Thought in Europe and America

Spanning both the history of the modern West and his own five-decade journey as a historian, Gerald Stourzh’s sweeping new essay collection covers the same breadth of topics that has characterized his career—from Benjamin Franklin to Gustav Mahler, from Alexis de Tocqueville to Charles Beard, from the notion of constitution in seventeenth-century England to the concept of neutrality in twentieth-century Austria.

This storied career brought him in the 1950s from the University of Vienna to the University of Chicago—of which he draws a brilliant picture—and later took him to Berlin and eventually back to Austria. One of the few prominent scholars equally at home with U.S. history and the history of central Europe, Stourzh has informed these geographically diverse experiences and subjects with the overarching themes of his scholarly achievement: the comparative study of liberal constitutionalism and the struggle for equal rights at the core of Western notions of free government. Composed between 1953 and 2005 and including a new autobiographical essay written especially for this volume, From Vienna to Chicago and Back will delight Stourzh fans, attract new admirers, and make an important contribution to transatlantic history.

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About the Author:

Gerald Stourzh is professor emeritus at the University of Vienna. He is the author of several books in English and German, including Benjamin Franklin and American Foreign Policy, published by the University of Chicago Press, and Alexander Hamilton and the Idea of Republican Government.


"Written with laudable clarity and precision, [the book] represents a valuable compendium and introduction to the work of this gifted historian of transatlantic legal and political thought." (Richard Schaefer H-German)

"The republication of the essays in book form can only be welcomed. . . . Stourzh's project to write of the Tocquevillian moment in western history . . . unites his historical interests into an overarching synthesis. It constitutes riches indeed." (Jonathan Kwan H-Review)

"[An] erudite and eloquent anthology. . . . [The essays] are amazingly fresh--something that is surely attributable both to the author's erudition and his enthusiasm for the subjects he treats." (Central European History)

"Stourzh has set a high standard of practice for the historical profession. This volume of essays justly celebrates his contributions to U.S. and European history." (Samuel R. Williamson, Jr. Contemporary Austrian Studies)

"The intellectual originality and meticulous scholarship of the essays in this book attest to Gerald Stourzh's continuing importance as a comparative historian of incomparably deep . . . and unsurpassed dedication to responsible and morally informed scholarship." (Aviel Roshwald Austrian History Yearbook)

"In this dialectic between connection and liberation, order and freedom of will, lies the heart of Stourzh's scholarly passion, and also his moral passion. For him to be so open and articulatte about such deep themes in a retrospective volume of academic essays is testimony to a scholarly life well lived." (Steven Beller European History Quarterly)

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