The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars, and the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire. This objective resulted in the redrawing of the continent's political map, establishing the boundaries of France, Napoleon's Duchy of Warsaw, the Netherlands, the states of the Rhine, the German province of Saxony, and various Italian territories, and the creation of spheres of influence through which Austria, Britain, France and Russia brokered local and regional problems. The Congress of Vienna was the first of a series of international meetings that came to be known as the Concert of Europe, which was an attempt to forge a peaceful balance of power in Europe, and served as a model for later organizations such as the League of Nations and United Nations. The immediate background was Napoleonic France's defeat and surrender in May 1814, which brought an end to twenty-five years of nearly continuous war. Negotiations continued despite the outbreak of fighting triggered by Napoleon's dramatic return from exile and resumption of power in France during the Hundred Days of Marchâ€“July, 1815. The Congress's "Final Act" was signed nine days before his final defeat at Waterloo on June 18, 1815. (Wikipedia)
David King's book on the Congress is one of the best history books I have ever read. It is full of great portraits of fascinating people and the whole story is memorable and helps you understand 10th century European history better than before you read it. I love the book. (WHF)
A Mighty Fortress: A New History of the German People,
Gordon A. Craig,
Napoleon's Master: A Life of Prince Talleyrand,
Thomas Dunne Books (November 13, 2007),
From Publishers Weekly
Charles-Maurice de Tallyrand-Perigord (1754-1838) was a diplomat for all regimes. He had major French governmental posts, including brief stints as prime minister, for nearly four decades: during the post-terror phase of the French Revolution and then under Napoleon and the Bourbon King Louis XVIII. As portrayed by Lawday, a former correspondent for the Economist, Talleyrand was a womanizer (he and Gouverneur Morris, then the American ambassador to Paris, competed for the same mistress) and a Thurs.ey-grubber, with a certain aristocratic hauteur. Yet Tallyrand was gifted at diplomacy: he was patient, an exceptional listener and, most important, a conciliator. Having had an exceptionally close relationship with Napoleon, he came to staunchly oppose the emperor's insatiable ambition and even committed near-treason in his complicity with Austria and Russia against Napoleon. Lawday devotes appropriate space to Talleyrand's finest moment, the 1815 Congress of Vienna, where his skills steered the assembled diplomats to allowing France to remain an integral part of the concert of Europe. Though comprehensive and quite good, Lawday's biography is long on narrative, hewing closely to the details of Tallyrand's unfolding life, but short on analyses of Tallyrand's choices and of the broader French and European contexts in which he acted. 8 pages of b&w photos; maps. (Nov.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Swift, informed and literate." ---Kirkus Reviews
"Comprehensive and quite good." ---Publishers Weekly
Vienna, 1814: How the Conquerors of Napoleon Made Love, War, and Peace at the Congress of Vienna,
Broadway; Reprint edition (March 24, 2009),
From Publishers Weekly
Leaders from the world's five major diplomatic forces - Great Britain, France, Austria, Prussia and Russia - convened in Vienna in 1814 to found a new order for post-Napoleonic Europe. Historian King (Finding Atlantis) calls it the greatest and most lavish party in history, at which delegates would plot, scheme, jockey for position, and, in short, infuriate each other as they competed in affairs of state and the heart. King covers the diplomatic wrangling well, particularly over the fates of Poland, Saxony and the Kingdom of Naples. His greater strength is in depicting the personalities and motivations of the key players, such as Metternich's daring love affair with a baroness and Czar Alexander I's growing reliance on a German mystic. Despite endless parties, the Congress achieved pioneering work in culture and human rights, including Jewish rights and a vote to abolish slavery. Most important, it established alliances that defeated Napoleon's attempt to regain power in 1815 and helped foster a spirit of cooperation that, in some ways, has still not been surpassed. King's fine work is not quite as scholarly as the book it recalls, Margaret Macmillan's Paris 1919, but it is more deftly paced and engagingly written. 16 pages of b&w photos. (Mar.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"King reveals his talent for narrative flow and portraiture in a biography that will thoroughly inveigle history readers." - Booklist
"A teemingâ€¦personality-rich panorama of the first truly international peace conference." - Kirkus Reviews
"A fascinating tale that shines light on a unique aspect of the relationship between scholarship and nationalism." - Choice
Holt Rinehart and Winston,
Institute Library Call Number: 940.28 Cra
The author is one of the greatest historians of Germany who ever lived and a professor at Stanford. Bruce Thompson was his teaching assistant and is now editing various collections of correspondence and articles.