Book Launch: Vienna; How the City of Ideas created the Modern World

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Book Launch: Vienna; How the City of Ideas created the Modern World

  • Wed 20 Sep 2023
  • 7:00PM

Join us for this fascinating deep dive into the book "Vienna - How the City of Ideas created the Modern World" published by Yale University Press. Historian and journalist Dr Richard Cockett will talk with Sir Anthony Seldon about how one city made the modern world — and how we all remain inescapably Viennese.

How can one European capital be responsible for most of the West’s intellectual and cultural achievements in the twentieth century? From California architecture to Hollywood Westerns, modern advertising to shopping malls, orgasms to gender confirmation surgery, nuclear fission to fitted kitchens, espionage to free-market economics — every aspect of our history, science, and culture is in some way shaped by Vienna. The city of Freud, Wittgenstein, Mahler, and Klimt was the melting pot at the heart of a vast metropolitan empire. After defeat in the First World War, ‘Red Vienna’, a socialist bastion of the inter-war years, witnessed a further explosion of radical thinking, creating, almost as an afterthought, the first ‘knowledge economy’. But with the rise of fascism the dazzling coteries of women and men who squabbled, debated, and called Vienna home dispersed across the world, where their ideas continued to have a profound impact. Tracing Vienna’s rich intellectual history, Dr Richard Cockett encompasses everything from the communist rebels of 'Red Vienna' to the neoliberal economists of the Austrian School.

Dr Richard Cockett is a historian, journalist and academic. He is is a senior editor at The Economist, a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and formerly a lecturer in history and politics at the University of London and a research fellow at the British Academy. Dr Cockett has written several books on aspects of British and world history. He lives in west London.

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© Yale University Press


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