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The Habsburg Empire: A New History by Pieter M Judson (Harvard University Press, £25)

A century after its collapse, the Austro-Hungarian Empire is still often portrayed as a backwater of Europe, doomed to be torn apart by fiery nationalists. This view is contested in The Habsburg Empire: A New History by Pieter M Judson, a professor of history at the European University Institute in Florence. The two key words here are “new” and “empire.” Discarding the nation-centric lenses inherited from the inter-war years—think Austro-Hungary as the “prison of nations”—Judson sets out to…

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